Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I can't believe it...

The farrier cannot come to until Wednesday next week.

I'm quite annoyed.

Please Wednesday... get your butt here fast.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And so it continues


Well the abscess saga is still not over.


It keeps going on and on.

D, the farrier, arrived nice and early to shoe my horse. I was hoping to get Jack' s hooves clean and dried before he arrived but when I got to pony club I discovered that my halter and leadrope had disapeard from my boot. I searched my whole car and then the pony club but I couldn't find them anywhere. I found someone elses halter and leadrope but the halter was far too small so I ended up catching Jack with just the leadrope. A friend who lives close by saved me by bringing me a halter. But unfortnately Jack's hooves were muddy and wet when D arrived.

I already had the two front shoes from Jack's previous owner so all he needed was two new back shoes. D did the first front hoof fine and then moved onto the back hoof which had been causing all the problems. He soon found that the abscess was not completely healed and had in fact spread towards Jack's toe. So he dug out the rest of the abscess.

This is a picture of Jack's hoof.

The white arrow indicates the hole that the vet dug out when she first discovered the abscess. The yellow arrow on his heel shows where the abscess popped out a few days after the vet made the first hole.
And the red arrow and outline show where the abscess travelled downward towards Jack's toe. This is also the part the farrier dug out.

When D pushed the sole down near the abscess little bubbles of pus seeped out from under the sole. D's opinion was that we should leave the abscess to 'dry' out over the next couple of days and then on Thursday if it looks to be dried out sufficently he will put a pad on his hoof and then shoe over that. Once the shoe is on he'll be fine to ride.

He then moved onto the other hooves. The other back hoof was fine but the front hoof was a shocker. One side was flared out and the other was chipped and broken. He filed it but when he went to fit the shoe on (the one I had been given) it was completely the wrong fit. He showed it to me and we both couldn't believe that who ever had shod him previously had forced that onto his hoof. It was far too small for him. He got a new shoe from his truck and fitted it correctly. It turns out that 3 of Jack's hooves are size 4 and the other one is a size 3 (the first front one).

So currently Jack has three shoes on and is barefoot with his bad hoof. Hopefully it will dry out by Thursday because I really, really want to start riding again.

6 Things About Me

I've been tagged by SolitaireMare at A Good Horse with the "Six things about me" tag. I've already done this twice but what the heck... I can always do another one.

Here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Write six random things about yourself.
Tag six people at the end of your post.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Let the tagger know your entry is up.

Hmm, let me think

1. I'm a self-confessed book worm. I love books and would read one a day if I had the chance (and if that silly thing called life didn't get in the way). If I'm in the middle of a really good book I will read whenever and where ever I get the chance i.e. traffic lights when I'm driving, when I'm watching TV etc. And when I was at school I would often get kicked out of class for reading a novel instead of working (of course I would only do that in the more boring classes). It's probably not suprising that my mum is a Librarian.

2. Cadbury Mint Chip Chocolate and Cadbury Mini Eggs (Easter) are my all time favourites. They both happen to be hard to find.

3. I've got a red birthmark hidden under my hair at the back of my neck.

4. I want to write a novel one day, a good one.

5. I'm a optimist.

6. I am addicted to the energy drink called V. I'm trying to break the addiction at the moment but it is proving difficult.

Since everyone in the blogging community has already done one of these, I leave my tag open to anyone who wants to do it! If you do decide to do it, leave me a comment so I know and can read it.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Whats in store for me?

I spoke earlier on this blog about my plans for next year. I had pretty much decided on going to a place called Kyrewood Equestrian Centre to do a horse management course. Beckz from I will Jump Sweet Jumps soon talked me out of it. Basically it sounds like more of a money making scheme then anything else. So I was stuck with what to do next year.

I knew I didn't want to be working full time. I'm utterly sick of being stuck in jobs that bore me. I wanted to study. But what? Because I left school half way through year 13 (the last year of school in New Zealand) I didn't have the qualifications to do any of the diplomas I would be interested in. So I looked into Foundation Studies Courses. These courses basically bridge you into University if you don't have the qualifications to get you there in the first place. They have Foundation Studies Courses at most Universities and I checked them out but none of them seemed to be the right fit for me. So I prayed. I'm a christian and I believe God can help if you ask Him. So insted of stressing over it anymore (which is what I've been doing for the last year or so) I gave it up to Him. And the next day I discovered that Massey University has a Certificate in Foundation Studies. I researched it and was really excited. Massey University has campuses in different parts of the country. Theres one here in Auckland, two in Palmerston North and one in Wellington. I wanted to go to Palmerston North since I have friends who live there and they also have an awesome Equine facility at the University. And so I applied. My plan is to graduate from this course and then apply for the Diploma in Vet Nursing. I feel really, really good about this plan. I'm finally at peace with what my future is.

My enrolment for the course is still being processed but I'm sure I will be accepted. I've also applied for my accomodation in the Baptist Youth Hostel and for grazing for Jack at the Massey University Equestrian Centre. I'll find out about all these really soon but it looks like we'll be ready to go in late February. Now I have to figure out how to get Jack down there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Abscess saga continues

It has been a hard week but we're finally on the road to complete recovery. This past week has seen me working in the city which meant I couldn't make it up to Jack until about 7.30pm. This in turn meant I wasn't home until 9.00ish and since I am unable to handle late nights I would collapse straight into bed. I would be up at 6.30am the next morning to start it all over again.

His right hoof is by far the worst of the two. On Monday and Tuesday he tolerated putting weight on it but on Wednesday he was obviously in a lot of pain and refused to let his right hoof touch the ground. This meant I couldn't treat the abscess in his left hoof and so I had to leave it alone for a few days. He was walking with a strange clicking motion in his ankle which seemed to be caused because he was trying desperatly to keep the weight off his heel (where the abscess was). I decided to pen Jack for the night and my friend Simone offered one of her horses as a room mate for him so he wouldn't have herd seperation issues. The next day he was much better on that leg.

I’ve been having problems with the bandage staying on his hoof. Since I’ve never done this before so it’s been a bit of a ‘practice makes perfect’ situation. First I used bandages by themselves and they came off very quickly since the sharp edges of his hoof cut through them. Next I tried using tape on top of his bandages, just around the edges of the hoof but since it was electrical tape it didn’t stick for long. My next plan of action was to get a boot to place over his bandage but the type of boot I wanted was unavailable in his size. So we used another type of boot but it was much too big and he hated it. That was a no-go. Next I used the classic fix-it-all commonly known as duct tape. Although his bandage still comes off, I’m pretty sure it lasts a lot longer then the bandage by itself.

Yesterday I noticed that a strange opening appeared on his heel, straight above where the abscess was positioned. I had a quick panic attack, thinking that something else was wrong with his leg. I then realized that the vet must have not dug the complete abscess out which would have caused his extreme lameness on the Wednesday night. So now that the abscess has burst we are almost in the clear. I just need to keep the holes clean and hopefully we’ll be ready to ride next week. I’ll get him shod next week and we’ll be ready to get fit and get started on our eventing career. Please God, let our teething problems be over.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Simple Arithmetic

What happens when you add the fact that rain has pouring down for the last two days, plus the fact your horse's cover has no stomach straps, plus the fact your horse likes to roll in the mud continuously and plus the very limited time you have to ride, tack and un tack?

The Answer?


Un-surprisingly I didn't end up riding that morning because my friend who was competing at her first show was running late and her horse was almost as bad as Jack. So I started on his bath for her.

Two's company

You can imagine my shock when I arrived to re-bandage Jack's hoof yesterday only to see that the vet had treated the opposite leg to the one that's been giving us the problems. I couldn't believe it. All this hassle with that dam leg and then the bandage is on the wrong hoof. I went to catch him and he decided to be a prick and try to get away. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for me, he could only hobble away and I easily caught up to him. It was quite a sad sight to see him limping like that. He was defiantly favouring the hoof that I thought was the bad hoof. I rang my dad to get an explanation and he assured me that he had given the vet my note about what had happened to that leg. He had even trotted him out for her. Obviously she saw something wrong with his left leg and not his right. I called the Vet Clinic but she had already left for the day and they said she would give me a call today.

She rang me about 10.00am this morning and came down to check his right leg. Yep, there was an abscess there too. It was in the same place as the abscess on the other hoof but this one was a bit bigger. She also said that it was more than likely that the previous owners had left the shoes on longer then they should have been and as a result the shoes had pressed down into the corns and left a bruise which then developed into an abscess. I couldn't believe it. All this trouble because his previous owners couldn't be stuffed to get his shoes re-set or even just taken off.

Anyway, he now has two beautifully bandaged hooves wrapped in a very fashionable yellow vet wrap.

The pus should drain within the next few days and he should be alright to be shod next Friday. My bank account is looking very, very empty. The things we do for the animals we love huh?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Once, Twice, Three times a... whole lot worse.

I rocked up to Pony Club on Tuesday about 2 and half hours early. I was (as to be expected) the first one there and spent an hour messing around with Jack until other people arrived. That’s the problem with living quite a bit down the motorway when your rally starts at 6’oclock. You’re either stuck in traffic for hours if you want to get there at 5 or you have to leave early so you don’t get in the traffic and consequently hang around pony club for a few extra hours. It comes down to whether you want to wait in traffic for a couple of hours or wait at pony club for a couple of hours. I know what I would rather do.

It was the Dressage and Show Jumping night at Pony Club. I tacked Jack up all nicely in his white saddle blanket and white boots. I’ll have to post a picture of him in this gear because he looks great. One of the instructors who teaches some of the younger kids commented to me on how beautiful he was (we get this a lot). It turned out that she was to be our dressage judge and when Jack and I presented ourselves to her she said “Oh I can’t wait to see this horse! He is so beautiful” to her writer so hopefully we started off on the right foot. Our test wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I was sure he was going to do his tiny mincing steps but he actually had quite a reasonable trot and canter which I was very happy with. His circles were wonky and he always came late into the canter but I took him deep into all the corners (except one) and collected him back into me. It wasn’t a beautiful test but it was much better than I anticipated, especially since we have done no dressage schooling at all.

I took him to the show jumping next. My friend Simone and her horse Rocky were jumping when we arrived (clear round) and she wandered over to talk to us. Since she had finished she decided to go back and un-tack. Jack tried to follow and we I told him not to, he reared. A big rear. In the middle of quite a large group. I threw myself forward and he came back onto the ground. He tried it on a couple of more times but I told him off good and proper. I decided after that not to do the show jumping. It sounds like I’m wimping out but it seems when I’m getting close to my... er time of the month (sorry TMI) I tend to get more nervous on horses and find it harder to deal with their antics. It usually only lasts for a couple of days but If something happens during those days I don’t deal with it calmly and easily like I do the rest of the time. It happened a couple of years ago when I didn’t want to canter. I had been riding for 3 years and had cantered and galloped hundreds of times but suddenly I was too scared to canter on a horse. Again, it only lasted a couple of days but it was still there. So I didn’t think it would help either of us if we did the show jumping. I’m not ashamed of my decision because I really think that if something else had gone wrong I wouldn’t have been able to handle it and we both could have ended up getting hurt.

The next day I went to see Jack with the good intentions of working on refining our transitions. He had other plans. He was dead lame in the same foot. It was really bad this time. He could barely walk and obviously it hurt a lot. He didn’t want to put any weight on the heel of his foot. Since the stone bruise should have been healed by then I thought that he must have an abscess close to his heel. It was already getting quite late so I opted to soak his hoof in Epsom salts and call the vet today. Unfortunately I had to work so my awesome dad said he would go out to see the vet. The vet confirmed my suspicions. He had an abscess in his heel. So she cut the abscess out and drained the whole. She wrapped it up with poultice and bandages and gave him a tetanus shot. He is not on antibiotics at the moment because she thinks that if we let the hole drain and change the bandages daily he shouldn’t need them. She estimated that he would be alright to ride in a week which falls in nicely with when the farrier is coming to see him. So hopefully this will be the end of his lameness saga in that leg. I was hoping that our first official competition would be at the end of this month but I doubt he will be fit enough what with all this time off. I will have to find another competition for us to make our first. I’m just thankful it wasn’t a major problem and didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. Because really I need both of those limbs to ride.

I promise to put more pictures up!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Lameness, Show Jumping and more

Again, I am very sorry for being a bad blogger. I promise to be better in the future.

A couple of weeks ago Jack went un-explicably lame. I was warming him up in the arena at a walk and he was fine but as soon as I put him into a trot I felt a hopping motion. I got off him straight away and trotted him out and there it was... a big fat limp. Something was obviously wrong with his right hind leg and as I walked him back to un-saddle him it got worse. He was really lame at the walk when just minutes before he had been fine. I searched his leg up and down for an obvious problem but I couldn't see anything. There was no cuts, swelling or heat and no muscle pain when I pushed and prodded. I decided to give him a day and see if it improved since he was still eating alright and I couldn't see an obvious cause to his lameness. The next day he had improved a lot and it got better everyday after that. I gave him a week off just to make sure and then started riding again. We did Show Jumping at Pony Club a couple of days after coming back into work. We started off with flat work which Jack hated and told me so in no uncertain terms but I did manage to get him to do a nice big trot when I over exagerated my rise. He also took the contact which I was very happy with. Usually when I ask for a large trot he bowls along with his neck scrunched into his body and his head in the air. When we went on to jumping he was just spectacular. You could tell he loves it. We flew around the course and his listened to me the whole time. I was really proud of him. I didn't work him too hard though due to the fact he had just been lame and he is still unfit.

The next day Jack was lame again. It was the same leg but this time his whole leg was hot and he refused to put any weight on it. It happened that a nice (and rather good looking) farrier was shoeing a horse at the Pony Club so I asked if he could take a look at Jack's hoof. He did some pincher tests and came to the conclusion that Jack had a stone bruise. So off I went to the supermarket to get some Epsom Salts. I soaked his hoof once a day for 20mins for about 5 days and now he's back to being sound again. Jack is currently un-shod. He arrived that way and his previous owner assured me that he had very strong feet. So i didn't get him shod immediatly thinking that I would do it when I started competiting and doing harder work. But it seems Jack does get rather ouchy when walking on stones and two lamenesses in as many weeks seems to indicate that he needs shoes. Unfortunately the earliest I could get him booked is the 14th of November (my birthday) since the Farrier Nationals are on this weekend and according to my farrier anyone wanting a farrier this week will find it very hard. I've never used this farrier before but my friend who is a great eventer uses him and I really like his work. Hopefully he'll be right for us. He was also very friendly and assured me he wouldn't be late. In fact he said "I am never late. If I don't show up, watch the 6 o'clock news and you'll see that a farrier has died in a fiery car crash." He seems like a decent bloke and I have high hopes for him.

Unofficially our first competition is tonight. We're having a show jumping and dressage night at Pony Club. I only found out about this last night and I distinctly remember this same thing happening last year. So today I'm going to be learning a very difficult dressage test and getting ready for it. Jack will probably need a bath too.

As I said earlier my birthday is in a couple of weeks. I'm not really feeling like a big birthday this year. I'm thinking of going to Woodhill Forest with my riding friends for an awesome ride and then a picnic once we're finished. It will be Jack's first outing with me so it will be interesting to see how he goes. I have no idea what I'll do with the rest of my friends.