So after the first few days of 'holy hell it's cold', the ponies and I got settled in and the weather is warming up. Cannot complain about mid-40's, in January, in Colorado. We shall survive. :-)
I'm booked in this week at an indoor. Frosty and Little John will resume work.
Coming home hasn't been that bad. That unsettled feeling I had the whole time I was in AZ is gone. I was totally happy to see that my mares are doing well. Not that I didn't think MH and my pet sitter weren't doing an excellent job of taking care of them, but I couldn't help but be a little worried about my gray mare. With her feet problems, her age and the fact that she's never done a real winter before in her life?...
But she is doing great. She haired up adequately, hasn't lost any weight and although she walks carefully on the frozen ground, she is not lame. It was a huge relief. Interestingly enough, my Frenchie mare seems more stiff in the front-end than the gray mare. I need to get her up and see if I can get her front feet trimmed again. Due to old injuries, she clubs on one front foot and I think that is where the stiffness is coming from.
Beretta is as big as a house. Looks like the baby baking is going well. LOL. And my little Belle has grown quite a bit. I believe she is as big as Little John now...and she's only 3, so she should make 14.3-15hh no problem. And such a little sweetie. I'm excited to get going with her.
Moon looks amazing!! He's unbelievably healthy. So healthy in fact, I took him in for a pulmonary exam. The diagnosis was good. Moon's lungs are absolutely clear, even after the bag test (they placed a plastic trash bag over his nostrils for a couple of minutes and I guess it's supposed to make them cough if they are having breathing problems). The vet said, 'Put him to work and don't baby him'. I'm not going to get all gung-ho and say that this means Moon will come back as a barrel horse, but it does mean that time off was good for him, gave his system a chance to heal up and I'll just start riding him again and go from there. I'm not even certain I want to run Moon again, even if I can. This last year has given me some perspective and I can honestly say, I did not enjoy my time with him all that much. I miss clocking fast times...But I don't miss the horse. Knowing he is healthy again...That does mean a lot though.
Jet got his stifle and hock injections re-upped. I discussed with my vet, force-fusing Jet's hocks with ethyl alcohol, but he said he is not fond of the procedure. His observations of it, is that there is a high probability of it going wrong and it is very painful for the horse. Okay...Take that procedure off the list. Jet's hocks are trying to fuse, but something I have noticed is that none of the horses I have had injected are actually competing the fuse. Moon's left hock still hasn't fused, Jet's haven't completed the fuse and Frosty's are dry, but open and show no signs of wanting to fuse yet either. All of this, my vet can tell just by sticking a needle in the lower joint of the hock. When you do something often enough, you just develop a feel for it. This time, my vet gave Jet a 'hot' dose of cortisone in the hocks to see if we can't get those hocks to fusing.
Shooter's leg was examined and the vet gave me a startling...but completely obvious...diagnosis. Shooter apparently suffered a sudden attack of cellulitis. That is what caused the leg to swell and become so impact tender. As soon as the vet said the word, I was like....Duhhhh!! Had the sudden improvement in flexibility in the fetlock not happened at the same time, I might not have freaked out thinking that he tore the digital flexor loose and ruined himself. Actually, the vet was impressed with the flexion in the fetlock. He said it actually looks normal now, even though Shooter is still 'off'. He did not prescribe any antibiotics, but I need to be more aggressive trying to get the inflammation out. Shooter needs to be lightly worked, cold-hosed and mudded and I need to continue to use the BOT boot. Loading him up with MSM will probably help too. But man, am I ever thankful that the vet didn't think the tendon itself was the problem.
Sooo...It looks like I am back to a full schedule again. Five riders, one to doctor and one to get started. Yay me!! :-D