After a couple glasses of wine (ok, maybe a bottle), I texted the following to Husband:
I don’t know what I actually expected in response, but it quickly turned dark. I’d blame the wine, but I’m totes sober right now and still feel the same way.
See…besides being an idiot in the pasture and injuring his suspensory in August, thus forcing me to rehab him for 6 months, and then subsequently being an idiot in the cross ties in February and tearing a HOLE IN HIS FOOT, requiring multiple vet/farrier visits and special shoes, not to mention more time off, literally the ONLY THING I needed P to do was LEAVE THE SHOE ALONE.
He ripped it off last Saturday, but AGF was coming out to do P and some of the other horses on Monday anyway, so I Magic Cushioned/vet wrapped/duct taped him, and put him back out. But not before snapping some pictures. And…? The FOOT HOLE looks BETTER than the rest of his hoof now.
But check out the insane healing.
So AGF came out to see what he could do, but there was zero anything to nail a shoe into. Given P’s proneness to removing shoes, he didn’t want to glue anything and risk more damage, so I had to order a boot for him. No clue how long this is going to last, but it was $90 so if he damages it, he’s just out of luck. I’ll gladly amputate his leg myself.
The one upside is that because there’s no shoe to worry about, he can be in a pasture vs the round pen.
But he’s still as happy as ever to see me, despite his freedom, and gallops to the gate whenever he sees me. Which sorta makes me feel guilty for so readily suggesting he’ll make tasty lion food. But only sorta.
On the C front, things have been a no-go. He was a little foot sore when he arrived, which may be due to the fact that his feet are mush from living outside in a wet field. He has extremely flat front feet, so I opted to wait to ride until AGF could check him out and possibly put him in pads. I say “opted,” but really I was swamped getting ready for my work’s fundraiser followed by an entire weekend filled with Spartan races, so even if I’d wanted to ride, I wouldn’t have been able to.
Anyways, AGF checked C out, put him in shoes 2 sizes bigger (C’s owner warned me the farrier she used back home was not the best…clearly), and did pads/EquiPak. C was starting to move better, even trotting to the gate, then suddenly went dead lame. Sounds like an abscess is brewing, so he’s on Bute and small turnout for now. If he’s not any better at the end of the month, his owner will be coming to get him.
So basically nothing is going as it should. Story of horses, I guess.
I’m having a serious horse hangover today. Somehow I went from 0 horses to ride to 3. Well, 2.5.
Friday I was getting stuff out of my car, which was parked next to the round pen. I heard hooves and look up to see P just casually trotting around the round pen, trying to get my attention. Sound as can be.
This was the first time I’d gotten on my horse since February 23rd. Lined him up with the mounting block and prepared myself to get run away with. But…nothing. He waited until I got settled and asked him to walk, then we ambled around the arena.
Now…am I supposed to be riding? No. The vet had said he could go back undersaddle when his foot has grown out. But mentally, P needs something to do other than sit in the round pen by himself for 18 hours/day. He can’t go back in the pasture because of the mud, and that shoe absolutely has to stay on. And if P can trot and canter around the round pen, he can cart me around the sand arena at a walk for 6 minutes (which is how long I stayed on).
Then after those 6 minutes of non-excitement, I hopped on S for a bareback hack around the farm.
I’ve been back riding S for the last 2 weeks and he’s been super. After fighting (or playing…with S, who knows?) with a copper head and needing lots of time off to heal, he lost a lot of weight and muscle, but he’s packing it back on and feeling great.
He’s for sale, if you know anyone looking for a solid, safe horse! I’m pretty sure he wants to event.
And then Saturday….oh Saturday.
I hopped on P for a few minutes. Then did a dressage ride with S.
And then…C arrived!
Came off the trailer after a 6 hour ride, blinked a few times and walked to his new pasture like he’d lived there forever.
Later I brought him into his new stall, and he immediately chowed right down.
He’s got some scratches on his hind legs, as his home was hit hard by all the rain and is quite muddy, but some Coat Defense will clear those right up.
Then after 8 hours at the barn, Husband and I went out to hang with some friends. I’ve been sorely lacking the in the social life department lately. Because…horses. Duh.
And among 6 of us, ordered 60 tacos. I wasn’t sure what the rest of my friends would eat…
So the next morning, having gained about 15 lbs, I went out and rode S and then C. C and I just did a 20 minute light w/t/c ride, and finished with a hack around the farm so he could get to know his new digs.
And ended our ride with a trip past P, who by now is used to seeing me on S but had no idea what to think of his bay replacement.
Then after that, I went home and Husband had added C to my Wall of Winning in our library.
C will spend the foreseeable future gaining a little bit of weight and building some muscle, then will hopefully be good to go for a spring debut!
In the excitement of actually doing a thing on a horse again, P has sort of been pushed to the back burner. Well, not sort of- he definitely has. There’s not much I can do with him other than bandage his stupid Foot Hole, then put him back in the round pen.
After P lost his special shoe on the 19th and the vet did a re-check of the Foot Hole where she declared it to be healing nicely, AGF (Almighty Genius Farrier) came out on the 21st to reattach the shoe. Then on the 23rd, while I was in VA, I got a text from BO that P’s special shoe had slid a little, along with the following picture:
I didn’t want to pull the shoe because the vet was adamant that he needed it on so he wouldn’t do any (more) damage to his foot or the structures around it, but I also didn’t want the clip to break off additional hoof wall. But AGF responded and said that as long as the shoe is tight, which it is, that the clip would be fine and the hoof wall is too broken to do anything else to. So cross your fingers the damn shoe stays on until we re-check on April 17th.
Our bandaging routine for the last 4 weeks has consisted of me soaking a gauze pad in betadine, sugar and MSM, and stuffing it in the Foot Hole, then wrapping vet wrap and duct tape around it to keep it in there. The betadine keeps it disinfected and the sugar/MSM granules dry up the soft tissue. It’s been a daily part of my routine (yay for me), but in the past few days I’ve had an increasingly harder time getting the gauze pad in there, and then yesterday it just didn’t fit at all, despite me shaving it down to almost nothingness.
I stopped using Keratex on it last week, as I wasn’t sure if the hardening of the hoof wall was contributing to the cracking of it, so now he’s just on his regular Pro-Elite Senior feed/balancer/hay, along with Double Strength Farrier’s Formula, and then gets the WunderHoof rub on it daily. I’m almost out of the tub of Wunderhoof, as I’m quite generous with the stuff, and will definitely be ordering more. I don’t know if that’s what’s doing the trick, but I’m not stopping it to experiment!
So that’s about all there is to talk about on P. He’s sound trotting and cantering around the round pen, and walks fine even over gravel and rocks. He’s definitely itching to go back to work and stares like a total creeper at me the entire time I’m riding S in the arena (which is below the round pen).
When he is cleared to go back to work, which according to the vet, may very well be sooner than originally expected, I’m planning on sending him to training straight away. After the last 6 months of doctoring the horse, I’m ready for some time apart.
We all know how long it took for me to eventually get P around a BN, right? ::cough cough:: 2 years ::cough cough::
Then I started riding S when P injured himself the FIRST time. And it was sort of a miracle that after only 4 weeks or so, I took him around his very first event at BN (and really only my third).
Last month I headed up to VA for a weekend of riding ponies with my friend, and got to take her guy out for a spin:
And after a day of flatting, took him to a little jump clinic where I jumped a few little fences for the first time since October 2018. We made tentative plans for me to come back up to VA in March to compete him at Loch Moy and then possibly bring him back with me to ride while P continues to recuperate.
But I had some serious doubts. I mean…I’d ridden the horse all of 60 minutes or so, not to mention the teensy fact that I’ve done nothing besides w/t/c rehab rides (when I could ride at all) for the last 5 months. Not exactly a professional here, y’all.
So I made the decision to get there, ride him Friday & Saturday, then decide. He was already entered under his owner and the office said we could make a last minute rider change.
Here’s a little background on C: he’s 19 (but you’d never know), and my friend has owned him for about 10 years or so- she completed her first BN/N on him, and schooled Training, but said she could never put all the Training phases together to actually compete at the level. She bought a different horse 4 years ago, and C pretty much has sat since then. He briefly came out of retirement in 2016 when a friend tried to show him at BN, but they didn’t get along well, so back into the pasture he went.
So the horse hasn’t been to a show, hasn’t schooled XC, has now jumped exactly ONCE (with me in Feb) in nearly 3 years, and I think I can just saunter around a horse trial?
Friday I hopped on, my friend set some jumps, and off we went. At this point, I was under the impression that my friend had worked him over fences at least a couple times, so afterwardswhen I found out she hadn’t jumped him at all, I was actually quite impressed with how he was.
But he does have the tendency to bulge to the right and get sort of…stuck. He did it a few times off the left lead as I was turning to jumps, and it was a little un-nerving. I’m told that’s one of his quirks, which is totally fine since all horses have their “thing,” but it didn’t exactly inspire confidence that I could steer him around a SJ course.
But I figured…YOLO, maybe? I really can’t explain why I decided to go along with competing him, but found myself paying the rider change fee the next day.
Waiting on some media…we’ll finish this story tomorrow!
Yesterday I went out to the barn for P’s daily bandage change. But when I cut through the vet wrap and duct tape, half of his uber special shoe flopped down.
So after BO’s husband and I removed the entire shoe…
…I wrapped his stupid shoeless foot and might have gleaned the tiniest bit of pleasure in his obvious soreness walking back to his stall.
And P’s just plain old out of luck, because AGF (Almighty Genius Farrier) had already told BO (who has a horse with a loose shoe) that he was booked solid this week. I do have a text in to him, offering to trailer P to him, but I’m also feeling fairly cold-hearted ATM.
So I went home and got in the shower with Old Faithful.
The vet came out earlier today on an emergency call for another horse at the barn, so while she was out and P was barefoot, I had her look at P’s foot, even though she and AGF weren’t supposed to come back until April 1st to re-check and reset the shoe.
All the soft tissue has gone back to the way it should be, which was great to hear. As the hoof sole and wall grow out, it will cover up what you can see, but there’s no more inflammation.
She was surprised at how much growth has occurred in such a short period of time(maybe the Wunderhoof stuff actually works?) and said he should be back in work sooner than we thought. She said we can skip the re-check on the 1st and just wait another 4 weeks, so that at least saves me some $$.
Now, here’s hoping AGF is able to squeeze P in to get a shoe back on! Until that happens, he’s BACK in the round pen, walking like he’s about to die.
For the first time since August 2018, P is finally back in a pasture. When he was first cleared from stall rest in January, the pastures were so wet that P was assigned to the round pen, lest he slip in the wet grass/mud and reinjure his tendon. Then he tore half his foot off, went back into the stall for 7 days, and then was back in the round pen.
But BO and I figured this was as good a time as any to get P out into a small pasture, as he’d likely be sore enough thanks to The Foot Hole, and wouldn’t be so inclined to tear around.
Which was true. For, ya know, a couple days.
So with one grey TB back in action…
…I’m thinking P can handle a few laps of walking under saddle in the arena.
It’s been raining in NC for what seems like 5 nonstop months. Temperatures have fluctuated from 30 to 80 (sometimes in one week), and some days I don’t even MIND that I don’t have a rideable horse because it’s just plain ol’ nasty.
But with the end of March comes a few things…Trainer B’s return as well as the beginning of show season.
But KC, you might say, your horse has a gigantic hole in his foot.
That he does, my dears, but it’s looking like this handsome guy will soon be coming my way.
Right now the plan is to head up to VA at the end of this month and compete C in a schooling horse trial, then bring him back to NC with me. His owner will be following him down to NC shortly after that, as she heads back to work for Trainer B, and C will stay with me until P is ready to go. Which will probably be early summer, because the second that horse is declared good to go back under saddle, he’ll be heading to Trainer B’s for at least a month. I seriously can’t even with that horse anymore.
So all hopes for a spring season may not be dashed after all. Which has me thinking about the events I’ve been to as both a rider and a spectator, and which ones I can maybe, just maybe, plan to get to this year.
It was so hard to pick a favorite. I loved going to Virginia HT when Trainer B competed P and really hope to get to compete there myself this year.
I will always be partial to Windridge. Maybe because we’ve won there before…
Also because they have a kick ass XC course.
But I have to say that my favorite among favorites has to be Carolina Horse Park.
All around, I just love the venue. The stalls are roomy, and designed to be able to conveniently hang things like saddle racks/bridle racks/hay nets/buckets, etc. The overhangs are great at keeping the rain off ya and are spacious enough to have trunks/hay bales in front of stalls.
Trashcans everywhere that are actually emptied DURING the show, so trash isn’t blowing out by Sunday. Small details like that matter.
Another favorite feature is that each stall has it’s own dual electric outlet. Perfect for a fan and a phone charger.
They have 2 areas for campers/LQs, both of which are about a 45 second drive to the barns. The hookups are far enough apart that no one has to park on top of each other either.
They partner with a nearby golf cart company, so you can have one delivered for the duration of the show for $45/day.
The only thing missing would be showers. If they’d add showers and a real restroom, that’d be perfection.
I believe they run only 2 USEA events throughout the year, in addition to Carolina International at the end of March, then from May-November, they host a schooling series called War Horse Event Series.
Timing has never worked out to where I’ve competed in one of their USEA events, but I have attended several of the WHES events and love how well run they all have been. Plus, stabling for Friday-Sunday is only $75 AND you don’t have to clean the stall at the end of the weekend. With a horse like P, there is no better deal than to NOT have to strip the stall.
But even though the cost for the schooling events is less than recognized, don’t think the competition is easy. It’s a big atmosphere at each of the shows, with all 8 barns being completely filled most months. They typically have around 300 entries per show, and offer HTs through Training and CTs through Advanced. As such, they hire real course designers for both show jumping and XC, and those courses are over the same tracks and jumps as you’ll find in their recognized shows.
Dressage is always interesting, as they run 6 rings at one time, so keeping your horse focused while there’s a bunch of horns/bells/SQUEAKY TOYS (of course for the ring we usually get put in) sounding off around you can be challenging at times.
Stadium they have two different arenas- one on grass for the little stuff (up to 2’3), and then BN+ in the Century Link arena.
The grass arena always has great footing and is slightly more quieter, which is great for the green horses and/or riders.
On the other side, the Century Link arena is quite busy with the barns on one end, another side taken up by loudspeakers and tents, and warmup on the other side. The courses are definitely never easy either.
And then there’s XC. While some horse trials I’ve been to never really change up their tracks, at CHP I’ve never seen the start box in the same place. Like stadium, they have two separate areas for the levels: starter (2’3″) and below uses a completely different track/course with BN+ in another.
If you do enough of these WHES events, you can qualify for the championships, which dishes out hefty prize money and goodies.
And as a cherry on top, they always have at least 2 food trucks onsite, and 2 mobile tack shops. For dinner, the venue is close to town with lots of restaurants to choose from.
It’s just under two hours from me, so I’m hoping to make it there at least once this year, or as many times as is on the schedule.
Of course that depends on, ya know, having a horse to ride.
WARNING: Some pictures in this post are disgusting.
Both vet and farrier came out yesterday to do x-rays and see if a shoe could get put back on P’s broken foot.
He walked out of the stall much better than when he went into it a week ago (he hasn’t left it at all and was getting his bandage changes in there), which was a relief, and the vet unwrapped his foot to take a look.
Barf. The white grainy stuff is a mixture of MSM/sugar, just FYI. The good news is that the pack, bandage, and SMZs have been doing their job in keeping infection away.
Then the vet took x-rays and I held my breath.
The x-ray showed that no bone was damaged in P’s wild crosstie escapade, which makes his prognosis excellent. The laminae is a little inflamed, which is to be expected, so I’m to continue with the betadine/sugar/MSM applications under his wrap.
Then it was time to see if a shoe could get back on there to help relieve some pressure.
And after going back and forth with the farrier, who will from now on be referred to as Almighty Genius Farrier (AGF) because he rocks, AGF was able to fashion and attach a shoe to what’s left of the hoof.
You could clearly see the relief on P’s face when he found he was able to put weight on that leg for the first time in 7 days. The vet and AGF watched him walk up and down the barn aisle and the difference was immediate.
So P will remain on SMZs, bute, and daily bandage changes. He *should* be able to go out in a small paddock or the round pen in the next couple of days. I actually had to ace him after AGF/vet left, because he was like, “Uhhh, no thanks, I’m actually fine now” when I put him back in his stall. BO joked that we should take off the shoe, but I already paid for that sucker, so I said she could just kick the hole if he gets out of line. And I’m only half-kidding, if we’re being honest.
I’m really not looking forward to changing the bandage from here on out, though. Before, I did it from the bottom of the foot and never made direct eye contact with the exposed soft tissue. Now I have to go through the front and pull the pads through the hole. Which makes me want to gag just thinking about it. Thanks, P.
The vet/AGF will come back out in 4 weeks to do another set of x-rays and reset his special shoe. So in the meantime…we, uh, wait, I guess.
As for a new ride, I’m still sort of in limbo. Trainer B wants me to try out this one horse that’s semi-local to me, so that will be happening this coming weekend, weather permitting. Otherwise the tentative plan (work permitting, this time) is to head back to VA at the end of March to catch ride my friend’s horse, C, in the MDHT Starter Trials at BN, and then bring him home with me. C is the horse I rode when I visited a couple weeks ago, and I really enjoyed him.
We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I can be found stuffing betadine soaked pads through the hole in my horse’s foot, while furiously rubbing WunderHoof all over what’s left of it and shoving Farrier’s Formula Double Strength pellets down his throat.
Seriously- thanks so much for all the comments I got on the last post. I read each and every single one, but really just couldn’t even respond to any of them. The whole thing just majorly sucks. I also really appreciate all the texts I got. This community is the best.
I took a 4 day weekend trip to Nashville for a friend’s bachelorette party, and one of the boarders so generously changed P’s bandage daily. I felt guilty leaving, but have had my plane ticket since September so wasn’t going to miss it. It was definitely a good break from agonizing over his stupid foot nonstop.
And Husband was awesome and let me talk to P via FaceTime. Because…that’s not weird, right?
I did see him yesterday and he’s still incredibly sore. The upside of his not wanting to move is he’s super quiet in his stall (and for once his stall isn’t a total disaster…silver lining?), the downside is the boredom must be unfathomable. So we do little things like stick pieces of apple in his bucket to keep him entertained.
The vet and farrier are coming today as a team- P’s foot will get some x-rays and hopefully there will be some sort of shoe put on to support his foot more evenly and take some pressure off the injured area while the rest of it grows back.
And there’s no replacing just the piece because naturally it’s the strap that’s attached to the browband. Because OF COURSE.
So I hopped on Lund’s website to order a new one and….
With the same message showing for every horse size snaffle bridle. I emailed them to see when they were expected back in stock, but, well, I sort of need a bridle NOW. The only other bridle I have is P’s XC bridle. Because it’s only used for XC, it has the gag on it and I can’t find the regular cheek pieces to attach his regular bit to it. So we may be doing our trot sets today in a gag #FAIL
I really need to order one today, as I’m going out of town for the weekend (to ride horses in VA!) and when I get back, don’t want P to have even more days off. SO HELP ME.
I’m torn between two worlds right now. On one hand, I could just order a cheap-ish bridle from SmartPak until I can replace the Lund one (because I do love the Lund), OR I could fulfill an old wish and get the PS of Sweden High Jump bridle that I’ve sort of drooled over forever.
But I have some concerns with the P.S. of Sweden- first, I have no idea what size to order. P wears a regular horse size in the Lund, but I did need to punch some holes in the noseband in order to make it fit. Also, can I even event in the thing without a throatlatch? Or would I need to buy one? Will the swooped browband look totally stupid on P? How do you even put that thing together?
Then there’s the color thing. On the PS of Sweden website, it looks like a normal chocolate brown that would match well with my Voltaire saddle.
But when I went on the Farmhouse website (since it’s more local than, ya know, SWEDEN), and clicked brown, THIS picture popped up.
If anyone has the PS of Sweden bridle, do you love it and think it’s worth the price tag? Any other brands you think are must-haves to check out? Once I find something that works, I tend not to deviate, but I also don’t want to order a product on backorder and be waiting a long time so if I’m going to experiment…the time is NOW. Besides good leather, my only requirement is that it NOT have a fixed tab for a flash.