April. Last April I thought I'd be doing some schooling shows. Total shows to date? wellll.... zero. But that's ok. Things went a slightly different direction than we anticipated for a bit, so no ribbons for Miss P yet (though I don't think she minds).
This April, the goals are limited and concise:
1) Figure out hormones.
2) Figure out feet.
I'd like to be headed into May with a clear understanding of how we're proceeding with hormone options (more Regu-Mate, stay natural, rip out ovaries..) even if surgery or more meds aren't immediately happening.
I'd also like to know what the crap is going on with P's feet. There's a vet at the barn today for another pony, so he's putting some hoof testers on the mare to see if there's any response, but I'm having my vet come out next week for a general physical anyway
Why pay a farm call when she's not "off" and nothing seems to be objectively deteriorating?
Well, The Boy mentioned that we haven't hauled to the vet in a while and he's bored (just kidding). But in reality, I haven't really had a vet bill in a while (apparently I've repressed the memories of ultrasounding P all September), so I'm feeling like there's money to burn.
In all seriousness though, It's been 11 months since the initial Wobbler diagnosis and I'd like to do a retest of P's nuero exercises, along with a check-in after 3 months on Regu-Mate. Mr. Vet Man hasn't seen P since she smacked her tendon - and I figure before we start x-raying our toes, we might as well get a workup and see if anything else is jumping out at him for possible explanations.
I mean, why not. It's only money
In another twist of fate, when I sent in an email giving a quick synopsis of P's behavior with the Regu-Mate, other considerations (new shoes, bodywork.. etc.) and my current thoughts - my vet wrote me back right away. No nasty front desk lady, no runaround, just a quick prompt reply. So maybe I should make that a goal too, just so that I can check it off
Goal #3) better communication with Vet office - CHECK!
Anyway, I went to see the beast yesterday just to pat her on the nose and she how she's enjoying her week off and first cycle of the new year. P was in full lover-mare mode and was as quiet and sweet as she ever is. She stood sleepily in the crossties while I curried a weekend's worth of mud and gunk off of her, yawning and licking the whole time. She's remarkably less girthy than she has been, I'm thinking that might have something to do with the slow feeder? who knows. She's obsessed with that thing...
I ambled the mare out to the ring to chase her around a bit, but she didn't seem to have a ton of energy to burn off. She free lunged perfectly. Stayed on a 20x40 oval around me, cantering for about 10 minutes before she listened to my request for a change in direction (I wave whip, she changes direction..). Her trot looked pretty good. Not as mincy as last week, but still not as big as it was before her trim. She's looking consistently more balanced and uphill to the right which is new.. maybe all of our work on that side is starting to pay off.
There's something about a good free lunge that leaves me feeling so completely satisfied and connected with that mare. She's so responsive, it's ridiculous. Perfect transitions (you only ask once), she adjusts her stride within a gait on command, and she didn't miss a single change of direction (which I really started playing with since she was being so good). We halted, we cantered, we walked, we lengthened, we halted... what fun.
She does get a little annoyed at having to keep walking when she's tired - Instead she just stops, looks at you, then comes in for a scratch. I sent her back out to walk on a circle a few times before relenting and agreeing to walk with her while she cooled out. Since she was so chill, I thought it would be a good opportunity to attempt some confirmation pics, but the mare was trying to be good and stick to my shoulder, which made posing her a little difficult. Here's the attempts:
|Not a bad start.. but not a perfect angle..|
|She got tired of standing by herself apparently..|
|Try again mare...|
|please look at me?|
|Or the ground...|
|yeah ok, we're done.|
Oh, and in my boredom I attempted to document P's halterless leading with the iphone. Fair warning - this is blurry and might give you motion sickness, but if you can identify us in the mirrors, you'll see that the mare is actually fairly decent at this.
I think I confused her with trying to hold my phone up... she didn't like the adjustment in my body language, but she figured it out. Mostly...