Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Blessings.

Well, Christmas has come and gone, again. Sheesh - does time fly. Nothing major special happened this Christmas with either of the boys... which is a very good thing. Both boys got their heavy blankets on now. It's just so cold out... it's only right to put on their heavier stuff.

When I was out yesterday (Christmas) to visit Gringo, I noticed that the snow-rim pads he's sporting on his front were actually coming out of the shoes. So, unfortunately that means another call in to the farrier. Hopefully it's a cheap fix and I don't have to pay to get them totally reset. Not my fault (nor Gringo's) that they only lasted two weeks or thereabouts.

Gus seems to be doing okay. Definitely need to get an email into the vet about his stifles. I’m thinking it’s past time to reinject them. I’m hoping that’ll be the “cure-all”… it’s always been the miracle drug in the past. He’s still very much off, but it’s just so cold out that he’s got a hard time keeping his joints moving… so who knows? I also am looking at doing an ACTH Stim Test this January. That’s a test to see if Gus has Cushings disease. I really hope not, but unfortunately, he shows a lot of symptoms commonly associated with Cushings. I also need to do a new thyroid panel. So, I’ll probably do both of those at the same time this next month. There goes all my hard-earned money. Gus is worth it though.

So, on to something other then the boys. I was surfing thru Craigslist the other day and came across this:

Project horses looking for good homes. - $75 (Pillager, MN)
Reply to: [?]Date: 2008-12-22, 1:11PM CST

My Sweet Cherry Wine: 5 year old liver chestnut registered Saddlebred mare. Approx. 15.2 hands tall. Excellent disposition. Leads, ties, trailers, lunges. Good mother. Sound and healthy. With more training would be an excellent riding mare. $275

Ironically, I know this lovely mare. Cherry, as I know her, was born at Gus’s boarding stable five years ago. My BO owned a third of her dam, as did two other women at the barn. Cherry was the first of three foals that Babe had.

Well, I could not let this mare slip by. I sent an email to the BO and one to the rescue where she currently resides. Turns out that Cherry will soon have a new home again. I’m so excited. I absolutely love this mare. She’s very nicely built and had a wonderful personality. I’m under the impression (according to an email I got from my BO) that I’ll have the opportunity to work with Cherry this winter/spring. Should be a lot of fun.

So, look for more blogs on Cherry in the future. Here’s the two photos that were posted on the rescue’s website. I hope to get some new ones/better ones once she arrives on Monday.

This lovely mare was saved from an unknown future… she had been picked up by the rescue at the Verndale auction. Though it’s a more reputable auction, it’s an auction nonetheless, so who knows what her outcome would have been had she not been picked up. So, kudos to my BO for doing the right thing by this mare. I'm ecstatic that she's a responsible breeder .

So, more to come on the lovely Cherry in the future!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I hate winter!

I truly hate winter. I really, really do. So, we had a nasty snow storm here in MN this weekend. Only ended up with 4-5" of snow, but it got topped with some ice. Driving conditions are still horrible. And the temperatures are only worse. Today's high was to be -9. Low tonight is -28. Oh, and did I mention the wind chills this morning/afternoon were -35 plus? Yeah. The weather sucks!

So, because of that, I've not been able to make it out to the barn to see the boys. Saw Gringo on Saturday. He seems to be doing well enough. J (the farrier) put new pads on him this past Tuesday. They are the snow rim pads. Hopefully they'll work well enough for him and give him the traction that he needs. We'll see. I really don't want to have to add borium or studs. Just not worth it for a pasture horse.

Haven't seen Gus since this past Wednesday. I'm hoping he's okay. I know they stayed inside today. If the forecasted high is below zero, they don't go out as the equipment (i.e. manure spreader) can't run in that inclement of weather. He's wearing his Dover Northwind blanket (which is 200g of fill) and his Schneider's liner (which is 170g of fill) plus the Dover neck cover. So, he's toasty... but at the same time, he's been wearing that same setup since before the weather turned horrible. I just hope he's staying warm. I think I'm gonna dig out the Shire's blanket. I think that one is like 350g of fill (plus adding the liner.... equals really warm!).

Gringo's still floating around in his midweight. He managed to put a tear in his fleece blanket... so, it's just the midweight - Schneider's New Briton (220g fill) - currently. He should survive, but I would like to put his heavyweight on. I'm still wanting to get him a liner too. But well, more time then $$$. Such is life.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I can't believe it's December already!

It's hard to believe that the year is almost over, yet again. Very depressing but nothing you can do about it. It's cold out and it's getting icy... I hate it.

So, Gus is doing well. He's still lame but he's more then willing to work. We've been "working" in the indoor these last few days as it has been so cold out. Probably walking for about 15-20 minutes total, with about 2-3 minutes of trot work. Just long and low. He's happy to move out a little bit. He's still very off when he moves out but it seems to help loosen him up a bit more.

Gringo seems to be doing well also. He hasn't been worked in months (i.e. since early August) but he doesn't act any worse for wear. He's been on Previcox every other week or two for the last month. It seems to have helped him as much as it's been helping Gus (who's been on Previcox daily for about a month now). He's not nearly as "ouchy" as he was before. He's still slightly off, from what I can tell, but I think it's more just stiffness then anything else.

The boys are both happily chomping on lots of hay and wearing their heavier blankets now. Gus is in about 370g fill and Gringo's in his midweight blanket, which is 220g, plus a fleece liner. Hopefully we won't have to add more layers anytime soon... otherwise it's gonna be a long winter!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's been a while.

So, it's been a few days, err weeks, since I've last posted. Gus is steadily improving. He's been turned out by himself for about two weeks now. Things are going pretty good. He's still very stiff with that right hind leg, but he works out of it, to an extent. Gus is still turned out by himself, which is a very good thing. I'm hoping that we can keep that situation up indefinitely. It's in his best interests to be by himself.

I've been regularly applying Sore No More (the gelotion) after we work. Seems to help a bit, or at least it's not hurting anything.

Gus is still having issues picking up that left hind leg, when I go to clean his hoof. I can usually get it if I put I alot of weight into that left side, then he'll pop that hoof up just high enough for me to clean.

But, regardless of all of that, we've had a nice couple rides outside. Today we actually walked the cross-country course. Probably rode about 15 minutes. He was a good boy. I was very pleased with him, considering everything.

Gringo, on the other hand, has been as lazy as ever. He's just chilling in the pasture this winter. We'll try one last time in the spring to start him again. But, boy, is that guy a pig! I had to clean his tail the other day, couldn't believe how dirty it got without a bag on it. So, after a good shampooing (in 20 degree weather) it's now back in a tail bag, indefinitely.

More to come when I've got more time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day Two

Well, the second day didn't go too bad. However, I found out that Gus was being an idiot yesterday in turnout, so he was quite a bit stiffer then normal. He did work out of it for the most part, but was still short strided. The right hind took about 2"-3" shorter steps then the left hind (not tracking up).

Tomorrow I'll be able to ride him again before work, but after that we're planning on turning him out and I'll work him as time allows. I hope he keeps his sanity. I can't stand it when he's being an idiot. He needs to realize that I'm doing the best I can for him and when he keeps doing stupid things, they are just hurting him in the long run.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

First ride in weeks!

Well, Gus and I had our first ride today since before Labor Day. He was exceptionally good, surprisingly. We were only supposed to walk for five minutes, but I lost track of time and ended up riding for about 6 1/2 minutes. No biggie.

Anyways, one lap around the indoor arena is about 1 minute, time-wise. Gus was pretty good tough. Very forward, which is a good thing, and was taking pretty even steps. He did keep wanting to jog off but listened well enough.

I put on his new Masta exercise sheet (see: Fits well enough and he wasn't too fazed. He'll be wearing that 90% of the time once we start working more, as we'll be riding outside, weather permitting.

Today, after our "ride", he got to go outside for turnout. First time in 3 weeks, well 23 days actually. He was very well behaved, least while I was watching him. I hope he stays sane and doesn't pull any sh*t. I just can't deal with another major setback.

I'll keep posting as thing progress.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So, had my weekly lesson tonight on H. She's a great little mare... Arab/QH cross most likely. A bit opinionated, but what horse isn't? Well, was talking with the BO and she was inquiring about Gus. Wanted to know if I'd trotted him yet. Said I hadn't. Wasn't instructed to.

Well, that being said, I did attempt to trot him in hand last night. Boy was that a disaster. He was in such pain... or seemed like it anyways. Wouldn't move out at all. Was crabbing at me and breathing really heavily. He was also very short strided, especially with that right hind leg. I'm now off to consult with the vet, again, to see where to now.

The original plan was to start walking under saddle this weekend, then turnout (privately) afterwards. I'm hoping that's okay with the vet. I was under the assumption back in May/June that trotting under saddle only came once that back end was strengthen back up. So, we'll see. Hope I have good new from vet once I hear back from her.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Almost done!

Well, I'm hoping that I'll soon be having positive information to report on here. Saturday (Nov. 15th) will mark 23 days of stall rest for Gus. I'm hoping that our first "ride" will go smoothly. I am planning on hopping on for about 5 minutes on Saturday morning, just walking around. I think we'll plan on starting the turnout on Monday - maybe yet this weekend, still kinda undecided.

I did talk to the BO, briefly via email, but sounds like we can have private turnout for a while at least. Then, once the barn gets filled back up we'll either have to do 1/2 turnout or have a buddy. So, we'll see what happens but I'm glad we can do half turnout for the time being - once that time comes.

I am really hoping that this transition goes well and there are no setbacks so please keep fingers crossed for Gus and me. This will be our second attempt at rehabbing... and I really don't need any more complications.

Plan is to start walking daily, starting with 5 minutes and adding a couple minutes every other day, building up to 45 minutes of walking. This was much easier back over the summer because it was nice out and we could do all of our riding outside. Not the case this time around. I do plan on riding out a lot, but it gets dark earlier and is so cold right now. I do have the exercise sheet (i.e. Masta rump rug) handy and a wool exercise sheet if really needed...

More updates by Saturday, hopefully.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Higher then a kite!

So, Monday I took Gus for our usual walk outside after cleaning his stall. Boy, what gorgeous November day. It was 70+ and just beautiful, slightly windy but I'll take it. And, was Gus higher then a kite or what!?! I lost track of home many times he attempted to bolt off on me. He was just being a little sh*t. Decided from now on he'll be handwalked with a bridle and chain... no plain halter anymore, just isn't work the risks.

He was much better on Tuesday when we went for our walk. A little high, but still behaving. He's tracking both hind legs well... moving pretty forward. I'm pleased with this progress and hope that we can find a solution to the turnout here shortly (i.e. private turnout is a must).

I did give Gus that Ponypop treat back yesterday... so we'll see how much molasses I gotta clean up tonight when I get there. If it's pretty bad, I'll definitely have pictures to post. I know I'll be needing to clean his sheet so that'll be coming home with me tonight.

Anyways, no news on Gringo.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, but the Previcox came Monday. So, Gus has been on it for oh almost three days now. I'm really hoping that this helps him and Gringo. Gringo will be starting his dosage this Friday (left the stuff at the barn accidentally). Will keep CoG2 updated on the (hopefully successful) Previcox and if it works for the boys.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Stall Rest For Another Two Weeks

So, talked to Dr. N. She wants Gus to be on stall rest for a total of 2-3 weeks. We're going to aim for three week. Then basically follow the same protocol that was prescribed by Dr. T back in June for Gus's initial injury. Stay tuned to Gus's progress, again.

Otherwise, it's a lovely fall day (Halloween) here in the good ol' central part of the U.S. Pretty unusual too, actually. Wish I had a horse to ride, would be an excellent day for a good trail ride after work. Perhaps in a few weeks?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gus Update

Well, today after cleaning up the mess Gus made the night before, we went for a walk outside today. He was really forward, which was nice. He moved right out of most of the stiffness. I think we walked around a mile today, maybe 3/4 of a mile, but it was a nice distance. Walked to the top of the hill and back.

Gus was tracking up very well with both hind legs. No real bad steps. Forward and energetic. Happy. It was nice seeing him so enthusiastic. I'm going to contact the vet again and see what our next step will be.

Back in May/June, Dr. T (the specialist) recommended daily walkings. Then we progressed to 5 minute walks under saddle, progressing up to 30-45 minutes over the course of a few weeks (like three). After he was worked (at a walk) under saddle, he got turned out. That regime worked really well and he was returning to soundness, slowly but steadily.

The only problem with that plan this time though is that the turnout is causing more bad then good. He's turned out with another horse and I think that is about 90% of the problem. So, I'm looking forward to what Dr. N recommends. I'll keep this updated.

The boys...

Boys'll be boys, as the saying goes. So here's some recent (taken yesterday) shots of the kids:

Gringo modeling his lovely Best Friends Grazing Muzzle - it works, by the way.

Gringo just looking pretty.

Gus's favorite past time, eating. He's chomping away at a Pony Pop in his photo, complete with his "sweat band" - i.e. the Miracle Collar.

I really should have gotten a photo of Gus this morning, before I cleaned him up. That pony pop... needless to say, he ended up wearing a lot of it overnight. He has sticky stuff (it's a grain based treat with a molasses "glue") all over his face, neck and blanket. ALL OVER. He was just comical when I got to the barn this morning. Just a hoot. Has this "Aut Oh, she's back!" look on his face. It was pretty cute.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gus is bored.

So, Gus is bored to death! He's been stuck inside since last Wednesday (so almost a week) and he's just bored. I guess he has decided to attempt to redecorate his stall again. Removing his halter, flinging around his feed pan and attempting to destroy his blankets.

The hand walking is going well and he's usually a bit more fluid by the end of it, but he's so very, very stiff. Not on anything for the pain right now... waiting for the Previcox prescription to come in. I'm a bit PO'd that the pharmacy hasn't filled it yet. Very frustrating.

And, with regards to the hand walking, Gus decided to chomp on the decorative pumpkin (well, it's a real one, but it was sitting there just for looks) that was sitting on the ground near the rail. I couldn't believe it. Well, I should say that I should believe it but seriously... what a dork.

So, any suggestions for a horse that will eat anything? He's not one to play with things and he cribs (out of boredom as much as it is from pain...).

Another, are you serious?

So, Gringo had his shoes reset this afternoon. Tried something new today and gave him a gram of bute about 20 minutes before the farrier showed up. It did seem to help a little, but then he has also had bute in his system for a couple weeks now. Thankfully we didn't need to use the dom/torb sedation that the vet gave me to give!

Well, anyways, he'd been off lately - more so then what's usual for him. Well, being such the bad mom I am, I didn't realize that he had two splints. They are new, but how new is what is stumping me. One on both front leg, high inside of both cannon bones. Go figure. Gonna do a bit of research to find out if there's anything I can do to minimize them. Doesn't seem to be bothering him at all right now so we'll see.

That being said, he's also got a horizontal crack on the outside heel of his right front. About 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. The farrier (we'll call her J) said it could be due from a trauma to that area... specifically the coronet band, and now it's just growing out. Shouldn't cause any problems but knowing my WONDERFUL luck, it will.

So, here's the pictures of the lovely splints:

Left Front

Right Front

Both Fronts

Any suggestions? I think I need to invest in some bubble wrap...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stall Rest for Gus

Well, after talking it over with the vet and BO, we decided to keep Gus on stall rest for the time being. So Thursday was the first day he was left in, and I guess he couldn't have been any happier. Go figure. Being on stall rest, again, means I gotta get up early every day, even my days off, to clean his stall. Otherwise, I get charged an extra $5/day since it'll have to be cleaned twice.

But, thankfully, he seems to be doing okay on his second day of stall rest. We're putting his hay into piles around his stall so he keeps moving. Seems like the more he moves the better that leg is, to an extent. I found out just prior to his recent injury, he was out running (i.e. trotting and cantering) in his paddock. Idiot.

I'm also getting a new pain med for both boys. Interestingly enough, Equioxx (firocoxib) is the same thing as the canine Previcox, but about 4% of the cost (actually only $ 0.40/day). Thankfully I was able to get a script written so I can order it online. Stay tuned for updates on how that drug works... gonna put both boys on it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lame, again!

I'm really fed up with my life. Really. So today was supposed to be Gus's photo op, but that didn't go as planned. I haven't been out to the barn since Wednesday evening. He was fine then. He actually had a new horse turned out with him (again). This guy we'll call N. Well, supposedly they were getting along just fine. Fast forward a couple days.

When I got to Gus's turnout, he was reluctant to move towards the gate. This in itself isn't too uncommon as Gus is big into eating... but in recent weeks he's been meeting me at his turnout gate. So, as he's moving I notice immediately that he's off. Looks like it's the right hind. Got him into the barn easily enough and as I go to take off his blanket I notice that it got shredded... no biggie as this is an older blanket that I'd like to "die" off. Under those two rips (left shoulder and left flank) there were no major bumps/bruises/etc. He had a little nick on his flank that's new, but it's nothing major. But on his right rib cage he's missing a huge chunk of skin. It'll be about a fist size once all the dead stuff sloughs off. It's VERY painful to the touch.

Getting back to his hind legs though, he was having a hard time putting weight on the right hind, again. Looks like he reaggravated that stifle. I was able to finally get all four hooves cleaned out, but it was no easy task. He's in a lot of pain.

So much for that photo op. We did attempt to get some photos but he was miserable. It warmed back up abit today and the flies were bothering Gus like there's no tomorrow. So, nothing turned out that spectacular. I'll post a photo or two later once I get around to editing the good ones.

Anyways, I got a call into the vet again about Gus. I'm thinking we're gonna need to do stall rest again until he's more comfortable. And then, I'm contemplating about switching Gus and Gringo around... definitely need to talk to Gringo's BO, but something needs to change. This isn't working when Gus keeps getting beat up. It's not fair to him whatsoever.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall Photo Op

Well, I decided to tried advantage of the lovely fall foliage this weekend to get some nice photos of Gringo (Gus's to come at a later date). So, of the 60 or so photos my mother took, these are a few of the handful that turned out well. Gringo is such a ham when it comes to photo ops. Go figure, right?

(I like this one the best.)

On a not so light note, he's still very much lame. Still having weight bearing issues with that left front. He'll be back on bute now for a while... just need to add it to his supps. Oh, and today he got his second DD of ivermectin. Still no issues, per say. No bumps, excessive itching, etc. We'll see how these next couple weeks go... I'm hoping no issues.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Well, Dr. N was out...

So, Dr. N was out to take a look at Gus's bump. Did x-rays. Well, the results are back. It's a soft tissue injury. Treatment plan is cold hosing/ice 2x day, until the bump is gone, I think. And he's gotta stay quiet. Thankfully he's pretty mellow on turnout, so at least he doesn't need to do stall rest again. Sheesh... the last time he was on stall rest (basically all of May and part of June) was just miserable.

I did change a few things up with Gus though. He's been on tums because the bute he was on was giving him ulcer-like symptoms. Well, since he was put back on bute early in September, he started cribbing like it was going out of style. So, he's got his crib collar back on and he's got a few new meds. He gets two 1000mg Tums daily plus 2 Prilosec tabs, all in his PM grain. Also, when I'm out, he's been getting 25-30 cc of Maalox. I've noticed that he's been a much happier guy and doesn't seem to be cribbing at all (or attempting to, from what I've noticed). He's also off the bute now and on a herbal alternative, called Releaf.

Hopefully this bump will heal fast though, although I've been told it could take months to fully heal. Here's hoping that I have a better spring next year then I did this year...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why me?

So, I had my weekly lesson last night (Wednesday) on another horse (again). This time it was Holly. I've never ridden Holly before, so that was a nice change.

Anyways, when I brought Gus in from the paddock, his LH was still swollen, obviously. However, it was EXTREMELY warm to the touch. It was cold out yesterday so the other three legs were nicely cool to the touch. Not the LH. Sheesh. I rewrapped it again last night and applied Surpass. I left instructions for the BO to remove tomorrow and then throughout the whole next week we'll be sweating the leg again (except for a couple days where it'll just be Surpassed and the rewrapped).

I will have a call into the vet, again, to see if we should be icing the leg again for awhile. Just frustrating (like pulling hair out frustrating!).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm depressed.

So, I had a long email "chat" with G2's vet yesterday. It's said to say, but I think we've hit our wall, financially and emotionally. She doesn't think there's too much left to do with either boy and it's really hitting me hard. Gringo was to be Gus's "replacement" because I was starting to have more soundness issues with Gus back in 2006. Well, unfortunately he fell VERY short on that mark and now I've got two pasture potatoes, for life.


Anyways, I'm thinking about talking with the BF again about moving Gringo back out to his parents' house this next spring... possibly even Gus, depending on how much he improves. I hate to field board Gus, but the BF's parents (mom) took EXCELLENT care of Gringo last year when he was there. And, she's got three other oldies... just put her 32 year old mare to sleep this summer due to basically old age, and complications due to having uveitis.

I'm just bummed out on life. I'm thinking, seriously, about taking a break from riding. As much as I hate to do it, it's just not the same when I can't ride Gus... and now not being able to work with Gringo, what's the point of riding? I just want to spend time giving the boys some much deserved love and attention. Poor Gus seems almost upset to see me riding another horse, it's sad to see.

I'll update on the boys again at a later date.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gringo's Hock

Well, I got another look at Gringo's 'hock' sore today. Actually, a chunk of the scab peeled off. Still not bothering him at all. For that, I'm happy.

That left front, though, is a totally different story. He's still lame on it and just walking in from the pasture, he's very lethargic. I gave the vets a heads up... but I think I'm just gonna monitor for the time being.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gus's leg bump...

Well, the bump is still alive and unfortunately it's not getting any better. I finally tried (albeit with my cell phone) to get photos. They aren't the best but the do show the bump I'm talking about. Today I just applied Surpass and then wrapped both hind legs. He's been left unwrapped since Thursday morning. I'm planning on rewrapping Sunday and Monday and then rewrapping again Wednesday evening. Not sure about the rest of the week. I'll be giving the vet a call again with another update to see where we go from here.

So in this picture, it's the leg on the right, although you're really looking at the right and left leg, respectfully. His legs are a bit torqued, but looking at the "white" leg, you'll see up near where the white and roan meet you'll see the bump - as a bow outwards. The leg is also much thicker all the way around, though that's not obvious from the photos.

This photos makes the bump much more easier to see. It use to be much larger in size but has compressed over time... though not being wrapped has allow the bump to expand back out a bit. He's still lame on it and it does bother him, though not as much as it did a couple weeks back.

Again, those weren't the greatest photos, but they were taken on my cell phone, so what can you expect?

Conformation Shots

Well, I went out to see Gringo today after work. He's still lame, go figure right? He doesn't seem nearly as bad as he was on Thursday, but he's still definitely off.

So today I decided to snap some new conformation shots of Gringo. I've not done that in a while, so here goes. Feel free to critic.

I'm particularly partial to the "butt" shot... gotta love those Appy spots. And that dang tail of his, I spent about 30 minutes trying to clean that today (shampooing and all). Well, I finally decided that it's going back in a tail bag until next spring.

This next shot is a photo of that scrape on Gringo's right hind leg, just above the hock. Still don't know what he did there. It doesn't both him at all and he doesn't seem lame on that leg. I'm just going to keep monitoring it. Nothing I can do about it now as it's already healed up.

Oh, and so far, no reactions due to the DD of Ivermectin. He seems to be just fine... not extra itchies or anything along those lines. We'll see what happens when he gets the DD of Equimax in a couple weeks.


Here's my first attempt at stenciling stars in horse hair. Boy, let me tell you, I got more then I was bargaining for. My technique involved Contact paper, star clip art, Sharpies, scissors and PATIENCE! The result is below.

It took three hours to do, when all was said and done. I ended up leaving just Gus's head and legs... everything else is nekkid. I'm going to be reclipping him again in a couple weeks, so he may end up losing a couple stars as they just don't show up very well. But, for my first attempt, I'm very pleased.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Double Dose

Awww, the powerful "double D". I'm big into reading CoTH ( and stumbled upon a thread about double dosing ivermectin (or Equimax) for neck thread worms (NTW). Common signs of NTWs are bumps on neck, chest, belly line or extreme itchiness.

Neither boy has any real signs of NTWs but from reading the thread, I decided that I'd DD Gringo first to see if it helps at all with some of the noseeum reactions he's been having. So, Gringo got dosed for a 2000 lb horse yesterday (he taped at 1000 lbs). I also gave him 20cc of Maalox afterwards, to ward off any possible stomach upset due to the dewormer. Plan is to follow up in two weeks with another double dose of ivermectin.

I plan on DD Gus after his next barn worming. The BO deworms every eight weeks or so and doesn't like us doing any deworming at all... but I would really like to either powerpak Gus or DD with ivermectin. The vet agrees that Gus would likely benefit from the powerpak because of all his other issues (maintaining weight, older, etc...).

Otherwise, Gringo's lame again. What's new? BO called me yesterday to let me know that he was off in his left fore, again. Not sure what he did, but he's pretty off. I also noticed a large chunk of hair loss on the right hind leg, just above the hock. Who knows what the guy did this time. It's already scabbed over (all black in color) and doesn't seem especially tender to the touch. Does not seem off on it either. So, for at least a 12 days he's on Devils Claw Plus (by Uckele) for pain. If not better, I'll do bute for a week.

Gus seems better today though. The swelling in the left cannon bone has gone down again. It was wrapped overnight and will be left unwrapped until either Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. He's walking much better on it now also. Still has the sore on his stifle, less painful then prior days but still very much bothers him. We'll see how the weekend goes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He's out with the herd.

Well, I just got a voicemail from Gringo's BO (totally different lady then Gus's BO). Looks like he'll be out with her whole herd now. Used to be just him and another gelding, who we'll call L. But, as of this morning, he's out with three mares now (the fourth is on stall rest). He's adjusting well, so she says. I'm not at all surprised that there are no antics. Gringo's a very laid back fellow and won't provoke unless provoked. And, I'm so fortunate that he's not herd-bound. I love that about him.

Haven't been out to see him lately otherwise. Planning on getting out there within the next couple days, as I've got some time off. Would attempt to lunge him again but it's been raining all day, which equals slippery and muddy. Don't want to chance anything with him.

As far as Gus goes, I haven't been out since this weekend, but I'm hoping that the swelling in his cannon bone has gone down. If not, well not sure what I'll do. I'm still wrapping it nearly everyday, just some days it's harder to get out to the barn to rewrap.

I'll hopefully have positive updates in my next post.

ETA: Well, I made it out to see Gus today... and he's worse then he's been in a while. The cannon bone has swollen back up a bit and he's got a new sore on his left stifle. The sore is about a quarter in size and it's already pretty well scabbed over. It's very painful to the touch (Gus was attempting to kick me while I was putting ointment on it).

I did rewrap both hind legs and applied the "sweat" mix onto the left hind. Hopefully it'll be looking better tomorrow, we'll see.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gringo's Story

Gringo has a sketchy past. I know little about what happened to him prior to my ownership. I got Gringo from an ex-boarder. She had gotten him from his breeder. He was only three when I got him and already had so many problems.

By the time I got him in October of 2006, he had already been at numerous (think about 5+) barns in just two short years. He had supposedly been "broke" to ride, but we found out soon enough that he either had no training or very bad training (I personally think it was a combination of both).

It took weeks before I could lead him without either being plowed over or stepped on. He had no concept of personal space and was as flighty as a bird. I do know that when his previous owner (PO) attempted to lunge him, he got away from her and got tangled up in a barbed wire fence. He has scars to prove he lost that battle.

Anyways, the training of Gringo progressed very slowly. He would be making good progress but within minutes would back track - miles back. For every one-step forward, it would be four steps back. It took a long time to build his trust in humans... makes me wonder what really happened in all those barns before I got him.

In early January, the BO thought it was time to finally throw that other leg all the way over. Well, needless to say, that did not go so smooth. I ended up with permanent nerve damage on my left side - primarily in my left arm and leg.

By late winter, we knew something was not right with Gringo. He would have okay days, and then he would have outright dangerous days. No rhyme or reason. No expression before he would freak... just one moment he's with it, the next he's trying to kill everyone.

In May, we stopped training. We just weren't making any progress. By then, I'd already had the vet out a couple times but we could never find anything wrong. Well, in early May we thought we had the culprit... an abscess in the left fore. Treated it for a couple weeks with no real improvement.

Therefore, we had the vet back out. This time we took x-rays. Found out he had fractured the coffin bone (extensor process was where the break actually occurred). So, my options were limited. Stall rest, corrective shoeing or surgery. I opted for a mixture...

In August, after having two months off and just chilling out in the pasture, I send Gringo to my significant other's (SO) parents' house. He had the luxury of being on pasture board for 9 months. Him and I finally bonded when he moved there. I was his "human" and he was always so happy to see me. Those 9 months out there did wonders for him. He became a horse again. He also became more trusting.

In March of this year I took Gringo to the specialist (same one Gus saw actually... love Dr. T) to see if there was any improvement in his x-rays from the previous May. Found out from Dr. T that the break was old... not just a year old, but like years old. Great. So, that means that while the PO had Gringo, this "accident" occurred... and she knew about it.

We never did notice it on the PPE back in October when I had gotten Gringo, but then, I didn't do x-rays. Lessons learn. Anyway, Dr. T recommended corrective shoeing. His other options were joint injections, stem cells, IRAP or surgery to remove the fragment. None of those were feasible... so I opted for the cheaper route.

So, now Gringo is sporting lovely shoes with clips, rocker toes and pads with frog support. He's sounder now then he's been in years. I also had his coffin bone injected back in early August of this year. That injection seemed to cause more issues, temporarily. He was very painful for about two weeks. But, he's seems to be getting along better now.

Thankfully, things seem to be resolving. There's no guarantee he'll ever be sane enough to be ridden. He has such a history and so much of it we don't even know. I do know that he's very reactive to pain... for what that's worth.

ETA: This is more for my own benefit, but here's another blogger's post about coffin bone injuries - great source of information! See:

Gus... his story.

Gus has literally been through hell and back. When I got him back in 2000, he was definitely not eye catching. He had not had a "job" in three years, so he was fat, happy and sassy living in a pasture in the rural Midwest. However, despite that winter coat and those long, overgrown hooves there was something about him that caught my eye.Gus was my first horse. I have always been one of those little girls that loved horses. I was finally getting my own horse; I just jumped at the first one we checked out. He was worth it.

His first "accident" happened that first May, May 2000. My trainer/barn owner "BO" was lunging him. Well, he decided to be stupid, as was his thing on the lunge line, and ended up slipping. That accident resulted in a hyperextended stifle. He recovered just fine with about a month off.

No further issues until the spring of 2003. That was our first spring together in the South. Did not know what was going on. Vet finally diagnosed the problem as arthritis in the left front fetlock. Sorta resolved itself over the summer.

Spring of 2004 brought about another bout of lameness. This time the vet thought it was navicular in the right front. Treatment consisted of really expensive, custom bar shoes. Was sound after that.

Spring of 2005... Guess what? Yep, you guessed it. Another spring of lameness. New vet. Didn't think it was the front end this time, but thought it was the back end. Diagnosis was hocks, specifically the left hock. Ended up doing a round of hock injections, which seemed to help, but still wasn't 100%.

Fast forward a couple months... I moved Gus back home following graduation. BO at our "old" barn (same barn we were at prior to the move south) thought it was stifles. Vet confirmed the diagnosis as probably arthritis. Treatment consisted of injecting the left stifle with a steroid/sodium hylauronate mixture. He was sound, 100% again.

Ended up needing the stifle injected multiple times in the course of a couple years. Legend worked wonders in helping prolong the time between the joint injections. However, this spring, things were very different.

So, this March Gus was lame, again. What's new? My vet and I have been through so much with Gus so we both immediately suspected the stifle, except this time it felt like it was the right one, not the left. Ended up injecting both stifles in March. Moderate improvement, but still lame weeks later.

It wasn't until May that I decided to take him to the specialist, to see if we could get a more concrete diagnosis. Well, I got more then I bargained for. By the time I got Gus to the equine specialist, he was so lame he could barely even walk. Diagnosis was a torn cranial cruciate ligament. Prognosis was poor.

Gus ended up on stall rest for about 4 weeks. Then he was allowed turnout, only after he'd been ridden. Finally, by late June, he could be turned out in the mornings like everyone else. He was making progress, even if it was slow.

But, like everything else, we had our setbacks. First one was in July. He had been previously turned out by himself, but in mid-July, the BO turned another horse out with him. Gus, quite literally, beat the crap out of the other guy. In doing so, he reaggravated his injury.

He was getting better, and then ended up running around on his bad leg again a few weeks later in August. Since then, he's not been getting any better. And, now we're dealing with a swollen cannon bone (noticed on Labor Day).

Aghh. I don't think any of this will ever end. Had the vet back out for the swollen cannon bone (it's his left hind). Not sure what he did... it could be a number of things. Like: bee sting, infection (splinter possibly?), or (getting dramatic now) he could have fractured something. We don't know. So, with the help of a DMSO/Nitrofurazone/Dex sweat, the swelling has come down. However, after a week of sweating the leg, the swelling is still present.

It's frustrating because he's still lame... though now on both hind legs, but more so the left hind now then the right. But, he can't be on Bute because it's causing a lot of stomach upsets... he's been cribbing again since I put him back on Bute back at the beginning of the month.

He's got until October to get this issue resolved, then I'll do x-rays. He's comfortable, but it's so sad seeing him not "happy". And, I can't even ride my boy right now, which is frustrating in itself. But, at least he's weight is up and his coat is looking nice again. I'll have to post photos of his stars sometime soon.

ETA: Another blog I follow, Behind The Bit, had a nice article on stifles... so for my information (mostly) here's a link:

Who exactly is G2?

Well, I suppose I should introduce who G2 is. G2 (pronounced as G squared) is the name given to my two equine boys by a good friend of mine. Gus and Gringo. I have had Gus since the spring of 2000, Gringo I recently acquired back in October 2006.

Gus is a registered Appaloosa gelding who was born back in January of 1990. He is one of the greatest loves of my life. He's brought me a lot of happiness, however, in recent times it's been more sorrow and heartache. Gus was recently diagnosed at Anoka Equine in May of 2008 with a torn cranial cruciate ligament in his right stifle. Fancy saying that he torn a ligament in his knee. Prognosis is not good. No guarantee he'll ever be sound again. Depressing. More to come on Gus's issues in later posts.

(This is Gus... he's my favorite, but don't tell Gringo!)

(Gus definitely enjoys rolling after a good bath. I only included this one because I'm also monitoring his weight. He's hyperthyroid and has issues maintaining his weight because of a hyper-active thyroid gland. He gained about 50-60 lbs since this photo was taken back this spring.)

Gringo, on the other hand, is a triple registered Andalusian/Appaloosa gelding who was born in February 2003. When I got him in October 2006, he was given to me by his previous owner (read between the lines - FREE). Little did I know why. Well, about $2000 and a couple years later (after months of lameness issues) I know why. Gringo suffers from a broken coffin bone. To be more specific, he fractured the extensor process of his left front coffin bone. Basically, he broke his "foot". He has a crappy diagnosis also. No guarantee he'll ever be sound 100% again either. Although with corrective shoeing and careful weight management, he's doing much better now.

(This is Gringo, doing what he does best... EAT!)

(In this picture, you can definitely see the Appy characteristics.)

Therefore, this blog is really going to be more of a diary of their difficulties in life. I need a place to vent at times and yet keep track of how things are progressing. I hope to accomplish that with this blog.