Pilgrim the Pirate. Sigh. 

Sunday I had a ride closely reminiscint of the Kingfisher Park CT debacle. I was all alone in the arena, P hadn’t been out, and he was crazy spooking at everything- dogs, birds, BO’s husband throwing a ball for one of said dogs, person walking up driveway, jump standards…his brain had absolutely flown the coop. Finally after 30 minutes I asked simply for him to trot nicely over a pole without exploding, and he was done. Ugh.

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Monday I left work late so didn’t get to the barn until 5:20. I had to be gone by 6 so figured I’d get a quick ride in and be done. I tacked P up and was out in the arena in record time by 5:25…just as the beginner schooling lesson was starting. Way to go me. I’m always afraid that P is going to have one of his little explosions and 1) start a riot amongst the schooling ponies or 2) knock into a pony and get someone hurt.

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But while he was semi-spooky, he behaved himself for the most part and we got to work on our straightness and me not being handsy during transitions. We also cantered, which resulted in no explosions and made me so very proud.

I hopped off and brought him back to his stall and checked the time. 5:50, oh yeah! Who rocks? ME. Then as I’m unbridling him, while his head is firmly encased in his hay net, I notice his left eye was 1/2 closed. Switch other side to check his right eye and it’s wide open. Uhoh. So I brought him out into the light and while it’s still slightly smaller, he’s opened it up wider now. I tried to check to see if something was in it but he wanted was nothing to do with me sticking my fingers in his eye. So I tried the other eye, the good one, and he clamped that one down shut also.

It wasn’t draining or weepy, no crusty crap, nothing obviously in there, so I put stuff away and then headed back to grab P and both eyes looked normal. Um, ok then. I put him back in his stall and they still looked normal. I watched him go to town on his hay for a minute and it STILL looked normal so I figured whatever had been in there came out or maybe it had just been dust and it was cleared, and I headed out.

Then Tuesday morning, I’m sitting at my desk at work and had a weird feeling about it, along with the strong urge to call the vet. So I did and the office manager said no one would be out in my area for a couple weeks, but I could haul him there (about 45 minutes away) this afternoon or a vet could come out tomorrow AM. I said I’d haul him up, so packed up my things to head home. No sooner had I gotten home and changed when BO called and said the vet had called her and could have someone out in a few minutes because one of the vets had gone on call close by. Yay! So I headed over there and the vet had already shot the green dye in his eye and found a small ulcer at the bottom.

Normal eye
Normal eye
Ulcer eye :(
Ulcer eye 😦

Luckily it had been caught before it could do any real damage, so he’s got to have 2 different ointments put on his eye, 1 goes on 2 times a day for 5 days and the other 3-4 times a day for 3 days. He can be turned out but because the ointment dilates the pupil he’s got to wear a fly ask with a nifty duct tape eye patch over the bad eye. So I ran out to the local tack store and gussied up this ginormous thing. Unfortunately there is a lack of fly masks in stock during the winter.

Small head!

Eye patch on the outside
Eye patch on the outside
Eye patch on the inside
Eye patch on the inside

At first he was positive he couldn’t leave his stall with the eye patch on. He stuck really close to me and I kept a hand on his neck the whole time- if I took it off, he would stop. Little dependapotamus.

When I turned him out he wouldn’t leave my side until his buddies came to get him. Once he was sure of who they were, he was his normal P-self.




With the vet’s approval, I rode both Tuesday night and last night while it was dark out and just the arena was lit. Both nights he was a rockstar while riding, and an ASS while putting eye meds in- first time he’s had to be twitched since I’ve had him.

This AM apparently his eye is a bit swollen so I called the vet, who said to up his bute from 1 gram per feeding to 2 grams per feeding and if it’s no better tomorrow he’ll come back out. I’m going there after work today so fingers crossed that the swelling goes down. It’s not bad, just not a open as it was after the vet gave him the banamine shot. Hopefully increasing the bute will do the trick.

Monday we have another lesson with trainer J, so I really hope he’s good to go by then! Eye injuries are NOTHING to mess around with and I’m glad I listened to my gut and called the vet.


2 thoughts on “Pilgrim the Pirate. Sigh. ”

  1. Ugh! I hate putting eye meds in any eye, even my own! I have to put eye meds in my dog’s eye right now and thankfully she is a super star but she always tries to hide when she knows I’m about to do it hehehe

    But glad you caught P’s ulcer early! Love your duck tape color choice too 🙂


  2. oh no, poor Pilgrim! eye ulcers are pretty much the absolute worst (as is treating them ugh…) but he looks strangely adorable in that patched up fly mask haha. hopefully he heals up quickly!


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