So much happened this week. That’s how it goes sometimes.
Monday I shortened my stirrups like Trainer A suggested. It felt so weird when I first got on. Buuuut… I did feel like I could actually get my calves on to push with them rather than have to use my heels. Using my heels would cause my legs to crunch up and probably threw off my balance a lot as well.
Most of my ride Monday was based around me figuring out what I was doing. Also me trying to move through the soreness. I was so sore after the lesson. I always work so much harder when I’m in a lesson than when I’m riding on my own. As difficult as the ride was, I’m glad I went out. I’m sure that after I would have been worse if I hadn’t worked out some of the stiffness.
Wednesday I went out looking forward to a good ride. It was not a good ride. We came out to see *gasp* wood chip piles near the arena that weren’t there before. Scarlet just about lost his mind.
While losing his mind, he also lost all feeling in his sides apparently. He gave my leg cues a HUGE double middle finger for the whole ride. The ride quickly devolved into us arguing over GOING FORWARD WHEN ASKED. Nothing was done besides walking and trotting. I’m hating that I have to chase him into anything more than a plodding walk and it takes a while to get his trot forward as well. We worked a lot on a quick response to a soft leg cue and continuing to speed up until I removed my leg. I ended before I got exactly what I wanted but I had to go to work.
I was pretty frustrated over that ride for the rest of the day. It really sucks when things end like that. And I don’t know exactly what to do in this situation. I don’t want to have to constantly shove him forward at the walk. Every other gait is not as bad once we get going. But the walk? He might as well be going backwards sometimes.
That evening, Holly texted me that Scarlet’s mouth was swollen. He was still eating but I immediately freaked out. I’d just cleaned his bridle and used denture cleaners to get the gunk off his bit. I knew that it had to have been that.
Thursday morning I go out to see this:
That’s right. Hives. All over. Slightly swollen sheathe/back leg area as well. AND a lost shoe. They were put on on Tuesday. At least I knew that his mouth wasn’t my issue.
Now, I get out to the barn at 7~ in the morning. Scarlet has been so low maintenance that I’ve not had to figure out much medical stuff. And 7am is too early for vet, friends, other people at the barn, etc. No one was up. I did text all my horse friends (Thanks for talking me through it later L!) But I was really feeling the lack while I tried to decide if I needed to go to work late and call the vet in for an emergency call.
I also felt the lack of having a barn where I trust the trainer/BO. I was concerned about leaving the barn. It had started with just his mouth swollen and went elsewhere. What if it got worse? Not too many people around the barn look out for each other’s horses. Id has to be something super big for people to notice. Friends notice but Holly isn’t around the barn much more than I am. Lots could happen in the hours we weren’t there. And the BO/trainers do NOT care. Nor do they pay attention. So I was feeling extremely worried and helpless.
I did end up leaving a message around 7:30 for the vet. Meanwhile, Scarlet ate his grain, rolled in the arena and then started eating his hay when I put him back. So he wasn’t really in any pain. He also didn’t seem to care about me poking his mouth. The skin was definitely tight there.
L started texting me somewhere after 8 am and I got a call back from the vet ~8:25. I started driving to work shortly before that because I was pretty sure Scarlet wouldn’t die but I needed to at least go in shortly and then get my laptop so I could work from home after whenever the vet had free time. He surprised me and swung by on his way to another call. So I turned around and headed back to the barn while telling work I’d be late. He gave him a shot of banamine and dex, then checked his temp and breathing. They were normal and Scarlet was pretty good. A bit confused about all the fuss right outside his stall. I got two packets of dex, one for the evening and one to hold onto. The vet said not to worry if this isn’t a chronic thing. Whatever caused the hives did transfer through the bloodstream (indicated by the widespread swelling) so it might have been a bug or a bee he bit in his food or something.
I went back in the evening and everything was so much better. Immediately I could see that his mouth swelling was down. He had wrinkles in his lips again! He was excited to get more grain and ate the dex up without issue. I ran my hands over his sides and there were a few small bumps left that might have been hives but also might have been the result of bites from neighbors.
I’m grateful that the vet came by quickly and the allergic reaction was mild. My farrier said he’d come back out tomorrow.
I definitely had a pretty icky day after that though. The amount of stress and panic from that roughly 1.5 hours of not having him treated was just… horrible. He means way too much to me and having something unexplained happen just set me off. He’s older, what if the reaction got to him worse? I did manage to keep myself from spiraling too hard but that took a lot of energy out of me. I’m glad its almost the weekend and that he has mostly recovered. I need a break!