Gotta work on those abs!
It has been a very busy summer, and fortunately the cooler weather has set in. Here’s an update on Grace.
August 9th 2018
While what you put in the body is very important to health, we can't discount the importance of muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments with overall health. A body that is in pain due to accidents, being out of alignment and having locked muscles will pull heavily on the immune system. Pain creates toxins. Toxins increase pain levels. If your horse is in chronic pain and it is not addressed, then the healthy foods you put in their bellies will not have full effect. This is part of why detoxing is so important, but also, why having a talented bodyworker helping out your horse is so important!
Grace saw our Equine Bodyworker for the first time two weeks ago. She experienced a lot of recovery pain (from old injuries) and has been on Cootie Kicker for detoxing and building her immune system since she arrived with us on April 30….just four months ago.
So why did I wait so long to address physical issues? First, she has been worked on by Jodi Pierce, my friend as well as an equine massage therapist. Grace had a very hard time being touched and as Chiropractic is much more invasive, I wanted to hold off having her be adjusted until we could gain some trust. Also, the sarcoid was in the way of many of the things I know my Chiro would want to do with her. I made the decision to have the sarcoid removed because I felt we had hit an “impasse” with her healing…so it was time.
It is amazing to see Grace blossom in the last two weeks, even despite the fact that the heat and smoke from area fires is affecting all of us.
I was just starting to see Grace shine up when the smoke and heat really hit and the shine vanished. Since being adjusted, the shine has returned even stronger than before, and she is once again putting on weight. By the time the cooler weather hits, she will be ready to start into training. For now we are just sticking with some mini ground manners sessions and continuing to build trust.
As for her time with the Chiro…let’s just say it was very “explosive”. He spent a full hour on her and my suspicions were confirmed. He agreed that she had most likely been in an accident…perhaps flipping herself. Also, she was still very atrophied from spending a year standing around in a small stall. We have a long road of body recovery ahead of us.
Starting to muscle up!
October 3rd 2018
Well it certainly took a long time for some rain and cooler weather to find us! There is still smoke on the horizon and I can see its side effects in Grace’s coat and skin. All the ponies have gunky eyes and look really rough, even being on constant doses of Cootie Kicker. We’ve also experienced much higher UV levels then normal. The plants all look burnt and our garden did not do well.
I decided to move Grace to a nearby boarding facility for the winter in order to 1) get her out of the soon coming mud and 2) work on her training. There is obviously some very rusty training in there somewhere and she has a mostly sane head on her shoulders. I warned the barn people that while she is very sweet to not trust her back end. She is still very protective around her rump. Thankfully her back feet chipped off nicely so I don’t have to drug her (yet) in order to trim her back feet…something I very much wish to avoid. For now I am trimming her front end myself and working on acceptance of someone being near her back end. I can walk behind her in her stall if I walk to the back wall, give her time to look at me and make sure I am not going to eat her, and slowly walk behind her. I did manage to grab her tail today (while staying out of kick range) and brush it a bit but she tensed up pretty tight. Fortunately her head was in her bucket of goodies, which seems to be acceptable bribery.
Grace has settled into the barn better than I thought she would! Her neighbor is a very nice looking black and white (mostly white) paint named Zipper. He loves to flirt with the ladies and has been handing pieces of hay over the stall wall to her. No kicking and squealing on her part, I am happy to report.
Her first few days of lunge line work have been pretty predictable. First day she wore out after about 5 minutes and was in obvious pain. Day three and four there was expected minor swelling in the rear fetlocks. Each day was accompanied with carrot stretches and lots of walking. Day four also showed some compression in the rib cage during stretching, something I had not previously seem since her back was so locked up. She also showed extreme unwillingness to work. I put her in the outdoor arena while I cleaned her stall and when I walked out with lunge line and training stick in hand, she walked away and put her head in a fence post. I have seen her do this in her stall when she didn’t want touched any more (in the early days of body working). It was her way of playing “ostrich”…she would put her head in a corner, and close her eyes and suddenly I couldn’t see her. So this day it was a fence post and giving me her rump. We spent the day walking and stretching and being slapped with a big fluffy saddle pad and she happily stood still until I pulled it over the top of her head. The dirty look she gave me really had me laughing! But she was good and stood still for it all.
Day five was a whole different story…
Day five of lunge lining was the “end of the honeymoon”! She had much less BEWARE "THE EYE!"
residual soreness today, and pulled out all the stops! Spinning (very not good on a lunge line but I managed it), pulling back, taking off at a run. I expected it to show up eventually but I admit it was a bit surprising after the day before being so mild! She managed to work up a bit of a sweat after about 15 minutes but as I don’t want to risk a torn tendon, I found a “happy spot” and called it good for the day. She spent the day outside next to her barn buddies, a bag of hay, and a cool breeze. I found her tucked in her stall happily munching away with very little residual swelling in her fetlocks and found a nice juicy pear for her to much on to make up for the tough training session that morning.
We’ll see what kind of horse tomorrow brings!
Now thats a nice soft eye...