Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vet Updates (because we're doing these in groups now..)

Not an extremely exciting post - but Prair has little to report on these days.  The good news is that her poop situation has stabilized.  It no longer seems like she is uncomfortable, instead we are back to our low grade leg/tail nuisance.  so that is a small victory to celebrate.

On a more empirical level, all of her lab work has come back clean.  No scary infectious diseases, no scary blood imbalances (though we thought that was an issue before we figured out the lab equipment was broken and had given (the same) weird results on every sample....). 

So that's good.  Current next step is a antibiotic that our vet has had some luck with on unexplained diarrhea.  It's sort of a shot in the dark, but whatever, might as well attempt it?  the only drawback is clearing out all the good bacteria in her gut, so her 5 day treatment won't start until we have a really good pre/pro-biotic on hand to issue at the same time. 

In terms of non-poop related updates, the mare looks good.  Her legs are staying much tighter with less wrapping and I'm hoping that means there might be less edema surrounding the suspensory.  (fingers crossed).  Prair's tummy edema is also gone, and she's a happy lazy mare in her turnout.

I crossed paths with our sports medicine vet today, and since she'll be on the farm again next week, she's going to do a minimal exam on the mare then, since it will have been 4 weeks since the last ultrasound.  she'll palpate and flex, which presumably will still show tenderness.  If that's the case that's all that will happen.  If by some major miracle all tenderness is gone, we'll ultrasound again and see what's going on. 

All in all Prair is good.  Whatever weird stress she was responding to a couple weeks ago, seems to be gone.  It's nice to see her back to herself and enjoying all her curry comb groom sessions. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Reining in the Panic (aka a loose plan)

If my last two posts seemed a bit, well... pessimistic, I guess it's because they were.  I have been enjoying my pity party over here and didn't really have an interest in leaving it anytime soon. 

Thankfully, I am surrounded by smart, non-hormonal humans who are exceptionally talented at grounding me, reminding me that all-is-not-lost and I should stop acting like I'm already digging a big hole in the ground for Prair. 

Fine.  Point taken.
Point taken well, in fact.  The last couple days have been filled with (good) conversations about what the future (realistically) holds for the mare.  The Boy has been good at reminding me its only been two months and also does a good job of reminding me that playing with him and the baby are fun alternatives to showing on the weekends. 

(That strategy works okay I guess, but a better one would be pony shopping for the kiddo... )

I also had some good clarifying conversations with both my trainer and my vet and am feeling much less fatalistic about it all.

For one thing, I feel a sense of liberation in committing to not jump Prair ever again.  It takes the pressure off this rehab process and let's me (more clearly) think about what I want to do and focus on going forward. 

Right now, that seems to be Hunter Land. 

It is expensive, and sometimes maddeningly subjective - but the culture of it is also really sustainable for having a kid in tow.  If I can't get to the barn for a week, I have high confidence that the care and rides are excellent...  At shows it's reasonable to not be there at 4am and not stay until 10pm.  It's a really realistic way to be competitive, and as involved as possible given everything else I also want to prioritize. 

When I reframed my expectations to the vet to "sound for flatwork" and not necessarily a return to the Hunter Ring, she was much less guarded about a solid recovery and though that it was "extremely likely" that Prair would be more than serviceably sound for a good dressage career. 

So all is Not Lost.

After a good consult with my trainer, I think I have a good operating plan going forward.  I'm highly aware that "plans" and "horses" rarely make a good partnership, but I do better when I at least have something to adjust if necessary.

Prair will stay where she is for the next chunk of stall rest for two months.  She's happy, I trust the care, and she's calm enough to still have modified turnout privileges.  If I moved her to a new facility now, (to save on board) I think she'd be too excited about being someplace new to (quietly) enjoy some paddock time... and that's something I don't want to sacrifice for her right now.

At her recheck at the end of August, one of two things with (most likely) happen. 

1) if she looks ready to get back to work (slowly) I'll move her into a Dressage program for rehab and realistically, eventual sale. 

2) if she's still not ready for work, I'll move her to a non-training location where she can chill and spend a few more months hanging out.  We'll reevaluate in the spring and see if she can loop back to option 1, or if I look for a good broodmare home for her.  Of course if the right home plopped in my lap for her - one where I didn't think they would have unrealistic expectations of her soundness, or would use her unfairly - I'd consider letting her go sooner. 

I know that Black Beauty placed a hefty amount of paranoia in us all as to what happens when we send our beloved horses down the road.  If I have any doubts about where she's going or what she'll have to do, I'll put her out in a big green field myself.  She deserves it.  But she's also only ten.  And that means if she's able - she also deserves to still have a career and have fun with someone...

So that is the plan, patience (for a while) with the knowledge that I can't ask Prair to do what I want to do, and open eyes as to what that means for options.

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