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We Are Flying Solo

Showing posts with label conformation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conformation. Show all posts

February 6, 2013

Forbidden Love

My schedule is impossible.  Every time I think I get Encore back in a flow, there's some other appointment or meeting I must attend.  Stupid life.

So instead, let's visit Imaginary Land.  There, I have endless time and I build card towers out my $100 bills because I have soooo many extras.

Someone else visits Imaginary Land too.  Meet Roxy (she's the one that makes you go OMG SQUEEE!!!!).

About one month old this past July
Roxy was a 'surprise' baby.  A fellow boarder purchased her dam, a TWH mare, late this past spring as a pleasure horse under the assumption she was just buying a normal horse.  Three weeks later, Roxy fell out.  Surprise.

Roxy has, I believe, been given to the BO as a companion for a SSH (Spotted Saddle Horse, or to me, a paint TWH) filly he bred who is only a month older.  He will keep her until they (now best of friends) are about 2.5 years old, at which point he will start his filly and sell Roxy.

Cool story, bro.  Right?

This is where Imaginary Me enters.  See, I've been watching Roxy.  She's at the ugly seven-month-old-yak stage right now, but this summer -- well, you know how they say you see what a young horse will be at 3 days, 3 months, and 3 years?  I saw.  And I WANT.

What the heck are you going to do with a Walking Horse filly? you ask, quite sensibly.  For the sellers of her dam don't know who the sire is, yet "swear" that he was also a purebred TWH.  You don't even want a mare within ten feet of you!  This is true.

Well, if Roxy is a purebred TWH, then I am the second coming of Tinkerbell.  Because even as an ugly yak, this is how she moves (the painted filly is her BFF, Callie):

Why yes, that is a perfectly balanced canter that takes almost no effort to envision circling a course of 5' jumps!  With a lovely trot with just enough suspension to not be overkill.  At 3 months old, she was a dead ringer for an Oldenburg, with a broad chest, straight, well-boned legs, and skeletal structure that is pretty close to perfect.  She has never gaited a day of her life.  She is also very intelligent and will be a brave, but sensitive horse.  Even Encore is in love with her; the filly pasture is across the lane from my pasture and he hangs out near them when Solo is out and always stops to say hello when we ride by the fenceline, where Roxy does that adorable baby mouth thing (I need to upload that video).

BO has even offered to give Roxy to me.  Cruel and unusual torture.  Yes, she is a girl, by which I am pretty much never tempted.  But she has the look.  That look in her eye which made my decision for me when I met Solo and Encore both.  That look which says if you want, I could be your partner and we could be great together.  OMG$#*$&#^!

Sadly, I am unable to find a bridge between Imaginary Land and Reality, so I am forced to tell BO I will be happy to take her...the day she starts pooping money.  He has given me free rein to go in the pasture and play with her, although for now, her dam's owner spends a little time getting her used to being touched and handled and both Roxy and her BFF are friendly and inquisitive.  Maybe when she is a little older, in my Imaginary Free Time, I can teach her some round pen work and ground driving and hope that someone in the sport horse world discovers her because someday, she will be amazing.

August 31, 2012

An Anniversary? Seriously?

It's hard to believe but nearly a year ago, magic happened and a classy chestnut gelding found his way from Delaware to Southern Pines to me.

It's taken me almost that long to learn how to ride him properly; he is so different from my burly Appendix boy.  He has made me a better rider and I hope that I have made him a stronger, more comfortable horse.  As we tackle Five Points next weekend, he will be back in the sandhills where the fabulous Suzanne and Allie of CANTER MA got him restarted, only now, baby's got a whole new look.

After 12 months of conditioning and training and trying and failing and trying again and oh there was that whole bone scan thing and then there is the ever present rider handicap, one OTTB went from sexy to S.E.X.Y. 

September 8, 2011 -- Away Again steps off my trailer into a new life:

October 16, 2011 -- One month later, bathed clean and ready to learn:

April 28, 2012 -- It's springtime, don't make fun of my weird shedding, mom!  The first day at the new farm:

August 31, 2012 -- I'm too sexy for dressage, check out mah neck (and I have not learned to pose yet from my brother and my mom is terrible at this when trying to hold the rope and her cell phone at the same time):

May 31, 2012

Diagnostic Geek-Out Imminent

After I left Encore at the NCSU Equine Hospital on Wednesday night, things proceeded roughly like this (italics are me):

Wednesday night:

He's not lying in his stall, whinnying in anguish.  He is not lying in his stall, whinnying in anguish.  Dr. Newman said he would call on Thursday when Encore was going into his bone scan tomorrow, so I will just try and breathe deeply till then.


Did my phone ring?  How about now?  Now?  How about now?  Ahh, I have to pee, I'm taking my phone with me.  It still didn't ring.  How about now?  Well, I guess they would call me if he died.


10:30 am; Dr. Newman calls with results of bone scan -

"Overall, he looks pretty good.  There are three hot areas, in his left stifle, left hock, and the spinous processes of his thoracic spine.  So I would like to do radiographs there, unless you prefer to try blocks first.  I'm not sure if it's just his back or if there are any surgical lesions on his hock or stifle"

When looking at bone scan images, darker areas indicate where there has been greater uptake of the radioactive isotope into the bony structures.  This can mean a potential problem area, but keep in mind, that it is only an indicator to help zero in on spots, because it will show you EVERYTHING.  Dr. Newman said almost all horses will show up hot in their sesamoids, withers, and some elbows.

A nice matched set of knees.
Pretty  matchy scan on the hind feet too.
 ZOMG, you said the "s" word.  No problem.  I'm totally not freaking out right now.  It's only $600 more, radiograph away, my friend!

11:00 am:  Dr. Newman informs me that Encore is going into radiology.  At this point I realize my horse has basically just gotten to be high for two days and I start to feel less bad for him.

11:30 am:  Dr. Newman calls with the results of radiographs -

"His hock and stifle are lovely and clean, so I suspect there is just some bone bruising there or bruising at tendon/ligament attachments.  His neck and cervical spine are beautiful and some of the cleanest we've ever seen.  What Dr. Redding and I feel is causing the problem are the arthritic changes between his vertebrae from about T15 to L1 and we'd like to inject those."

Look at that hock -- pretty darn clean, I can't ask for much more than that!

Left stifle.  Radiographs fascinate me.  But you can see the joint edges are pretty dang clean and smooth.

So no surgery?

"No, no surgery."

OMG, my horse and I are a perfectly matched pair.  This is the same procedure I got last year, only I didn't get to be doped out on xylazine.  Go get 'em, vet-man.

Shortly after that, I was able to pick Encore up and take him home for three days of pen rest, after which I am slowly bringing him back to work over the next 2-3 weeks.  If there are any lingering issues at that point, we can poke and block and see if we can chase them down.  Dr. Newman also sat down with me when I arrived to rescue the pony and went through the imagery with me.  It was easily apparent (if your entire career has been training to look for small differences in details) where the problem was.

Bone scan of happy withers.  Notice the spinous processes above the vertebrae are clearly defined.
Now compare that to his thoracic spine (back of the saddle) -- the processes are dark and indistinct.
Radiographs confirm -- see the nice spaces between the processes at his withers?  Happy withers.
Back to his thoracic spine and you can see the uneven edges of arthritic change and that the spaces between vertebral processes have shrunk.  Very common in riding horses, especially short-backed horses.
Four injection needles inserted and position checked prior to injection.  This one gave me shuddering flashbacks to the horrific pain of my own injections but Encore got sweet sweet drugs, so the vet said he didn't even flinch.

So, best case scenario, I bring him back in 3 weeks, he is fixed, I jump up and down and I never have to talk to you again?

Dr. Newman:  "LOL, yes, that is the most likely outcome."

Now, my goals are Training Level long format events, which are 3'3" jumps.  We're not asking for Rolex, but will he have a problem with this?

"No, he should do just fine."

If I didn't have massive personal space issues, I would hug you right now, but I do, so let's just pretend.

Is it just me, or did his laugh sound relieved?