Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Horse Taught Me Another Lesson...

I have way too much fun with Picnik. Isn't that about the cheesiest picture ever? :P And I love Daisy's expression.

I have quite the story to tell.
I'll start with before my ride. I groomed and tacked up Daisy and as I was picking out her left hind, I picked it up and within a few seconds she very persistently pulled it out of my grasp. Generally she tries, but I just hang on. That wasn't at all possible this time, she grabbed it from me. I took it up again and finished my work but she wasn't too happy; she still tried, though kinder, to pull the hoof from me. I took her out and went trail riding (it was supposed to be my warm up). She wasn't lame or anything, and rode well. At one point however, I we were riding through the woods (off the regular trail) and I was leaning forward to avoid branches. She shot forward suddenly like something hit her back leg, and once we got on the regular trail, I looked at it from on top of her and she had it cocked like she was resting it (only the toe touching the ground). I got off, keeping her reins looped over her neck and told her to "whoa" to ground-tie, which is something she normally does fine, and as soon as I got back to her leg she started walking. "Oh, yeah, very funny Daisy, come here!...Daisy....Daisy?"
Yeah. You guessed it. The more I tried to stealthily sneak up on her to grab the rein, the more aware she was that she was loose and i was trying to catch her. The walk toward home became a trot, the trot the canter, and my stealthy walk became a tripping, sliding (Note to self: Need new paddock boots with grip) running-jog as I tried to keep up. It was sorta pointless to chase her because OBVIOUSLY I couldn't outrun her so I couldn't catch her. But was I just supposed to say "Adios, meet ya at home" and let her take off and just follow far behind at a walk? That'd be stupid too. So I jogged. Soon she cantered around a corner and I only saw a few flashes of red on her saddle pad as we neared a big hill that went down. I was worried about that hill. I was praying "LORD, PLEASE let her walk down the thing!". I know horses, like us, are self-preserving, but you know...I had my doubts. Who knows what that new taste of freedom would make her do?! Luckily, I turned the corner and found that just before the top she went to a walk and slowly picked her way down the steep hill. And then there's me, huffing and puffing (NO KIDDING. I could barely breathe, my throat was so dry and scratchy) and now praying "LORD, PLEASE, please, PLEASE let her stop at the bottom of the hill and graze!"...Yeah. That didn't happen. I thought for an instant it did because at the bottom Daisy lingered for a second. But then I heard the telltale "clop-clop" of her trotting over the bride we have over our stream and I knew I was done for. Then I hear my mom "Why is she loose?! Daisy!" and other random stuff. Poor mother, out walking the dog, and here comes Daisy, with me running behind her shouting pointless words like "Don't you DARE gallop on the sloppy mud, young lady! Nooo! DAISY!".
It was actually quite humorous. I knew it wasn't that dangerous so i allowed myself to laugh as I ran. I finally ran the last stretch (which, by the way, I am not a runner at all so this romp through the woods left me gasping and I could barely breathe) and found Daisy calmly waiting to get in the barn gate. Ha. Nice try.

I got a drink, which at first I couldn't swallow because I couldn't breathe :P and then I got back on and made her ride the trail again to teach her a lesson. Needless to say, I didn't end up doing any road riding after our "warm up". (Haha.)
I learned never to assume she'll ground-tie each and every time. :P

Through all this, Daisy was not lame. I can say that. Perhaps she was very very very slightly lame in a way that I didn't notice, but noticeably she wasn't lame, and I did pay attention just before she took off because I thought she hurt herself.

So fast forward a few hours after graining. I went outside with Daisy at her stall and grabbed a flake of hay to throw in the paddock for her. Normally she comes trotting up to get it. This time she only went within view of me and stood pawing the ground, refusing to move. After a little bit of coaxing, she walked forward, but after maybe ten steps, just before an uphill to get to the hay, she stopped and pawed again and then looked at me all miserable.
So I assumed colic. However, she finally got up to the hay and she ate it; normally she doesn't eat when she's colicy. So I took her out of the paddock to either walk her or check her leg, and I watched her walk. She clearly favored her right hind (OPPOSITE leg she pulled out of my hand while grooming); landed toe-first when she walked, rested it when she stopped, etc. And she walked with a low head carriage; sign of lamness in a hind.

I ran my hands all over the leg but I didn't feel any real HEAT heat (just warmth). There was one spot on her hock that seemed a little bit extra warm, and below her fetlock but I still wouldn't say the spots were hot. So I cold-hosed the leg in case in was her leg and then I put her back in the stall with hay. I looked stuff up on google and from her symptoms, I think it's an abscess. I called Jean and talked to her about it, then called my trimmer. He said it sounds like either an abscess or just a stone bruise and I should call him tomorrow and if it's still bad he'll come look at it. Tomorrow Daisy gets trailered to Jean's. I'm going on a trip on Thursday and Daisy's staying there. I already have two riders lined up to ride Daisy a couple times while I'm gone :) So I hope she stays sound/gets sound.

I'm not too worried. I was so relieved that it wasn't colic (her frequent colic behavior (in spring and summer) scares me. I hate it when she gets that way. This way, yes I know she's in pain, but it's not gonna kill her.


ILJ said...

while i was reading this I was like "oh no!!!!!" and then I got to the part where she walked down the hill and you were yelling things and then I had to laugh because (a) it was funny and (b) I do the same thing with Domino when he sometimes gets loose. :) I hope she gets better soon! :(

Mellimaus said...

Haha, i know, right?! originally i was worried but then I realized it was funny and I sorta laughed as I ran... :P :)

Unknown said...

Haha ok my moment I had with Indigo the other week. I went outside to put Sheba back out and Indigo automatically sticks her head in the barn. Her hay was in the wheelbarrow by the door for it to soak. She knew the moment I came into the barn I was going to shoo her back out. What does she do the moment she sees me? Takes the biggest mouthful of hay and start walking towards the other doors where we groom/tack up. My friends Tammy and Korinne were standing up near the grooming area talking and they see Indigo come sauntering around the corner, walking through the barn, knowing exactly where shes going. I am hot on her tail yelling "STOP YOU HORSE!!!" (see the movie UP and you'll know why I was yelling it) both of them started cracking up. She stopped at both of them to see what they were doing then walked right over to where I groom. Hahha goofball.

You could always try soaking that foot in epsom salts. If it is an abscess it will help, if it isn't it won't hurt.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Whew! Good thing you don't have any roads between the area of the woods you ride and the barn.
Naughty girl!

I wonder why she gets those colicky behaviors during those particular seasons, too. I'd be so worried.
I'm glad she seems to be ok, though.


Gudl said...

Never a dull moment with 'my girls'!!


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