Early Days

Scarlet got a spa day on Tuesday. The vet was able to do it without me there since I couldn’t be there due to having to work. But she sent me pictures!


She also took a look at his slice while she was there. She trimmed back the flap and scrubbed of the dead skin so that it could heal well. It looked so much better as soon as she did that.

On Wednesday morning we went for a walk. I’ve become an expert at using every single sense to try and figure out how he is moving. I couldn’t tell if it did something neurologically but it did something. I think the first thing that it helped was to relieve his muscle soreness. He is very oddly balanced on his hind end at all times so I’m sure that his legs are sore.

When we were walking, he did very good. We didn’t have any of the weird disconnect of his hind end that day. He also wasn’t breathing quite as hard as he has been on previous walks.

I was tentatively excited about this. I didn’t want to be too excited if it turned out that we were just having a good day.

Thursday was so freaking cold. I know that I am a thin skinned San Diegan but it was cold. I’m pretty sure it was below freezing. I know this because the water buckets were frozen over. The cold makes things harder for Scarlet and he was definitely more stiff when we got out of the pen but I’m pretty sure it was just the cold. As he warmed up, he moved much easier.

Friday we had distinct hoof beats the entire time! He generally starts off dragging the toes of one or both of his hind feet. This time, not at all even from the beginning. I was so happy I wanted to start crying.

I don’t know for sure if acupuncture and pemf actually do anything for the nerves. There are some studies regarding how acupuncture can help with nerve regrowth. But even if it just relieves his sore muscles, it allowed him to move easier and more evenly. This is key to building muscle correctly to support himself better. He needs the muscle right now since he doesn’t have the nerve control.

I am scheduling at least two more sessions. At $212 a pop, they aren’t exactly cheap. But I’m willing to try a couple more and see if we get some results there as well. If so, maybe we wont need more or we could do them at a lesser frequency. The rain coming is going to put a cramp in our walking schedule. Hopefully it wont be too wet and we will still be able to get out some.



Horses really aren’t designed to live. They manage to find every opportunity to hurt themselves. I know this and yet I’m still surprised when it happens.

Scarlet managed to gouge a hole in himself on Friday. I’m being a bit dramatic with that statement. But he did manage to slice himself a nice little skin pocket between his front legs. I think he did it with his new shoes. They didn’t feel sharp when I went over them so I’m wondering if he just manged to pinch when he rolled and tore himself open? Its just the skin so nothing else major looks to have been affected.

I did clean it up and snap some pictures to ask the vet if I should be concerned. She said to keep it clean and put some ointment in there. So I’m flushing it with betadine and putting some neosporine in there. Seems to be okay.

The thing that bothered me is about 3 inches in front, the space directly below his pecs is swollen. It does go down with us walking so I’m not too sure. I’m keeping an eye on it and feel it to see how hot it is and what the texture feels like every time I’m out there. (I’ll put the graphic pics at the bottom of the post)


Other than this a few hours later, Scarlet actually did really well for his shoeing. The farrier has a couple of other neuro cases so he knew what he’d need to do to make it more comfortable for him. But he also did say that Scarlet has way more balance than he expected. He was a bit wobbly for picking up the back legs but the farrier just held still with the leg in the air and let him regain his equilibrium. He was also done in just over 30 minutes.

We’re still walking around five minutes. He’s getting a bit better at his leg stretches. The walking is still difficult. He can do it just fine for the most part, but does have moments where his back end kinda disconnects and he sidepasses with his hind to try to regain it. I just stop him and let him figure out his legs and then we move on. It seems to be working okay. We’ve got about a week of sun left so I’m hoping we can continue to walk to build up his hind end muscle a bit more. He’s just so weak that it looks like he has a really difficult time.

I did decide to give acupuncture and PEMF a shot. We’ve got our first session on Tuesday. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it helps him out. I’d really love to get him back to a better place before the rain makes it harder for us to walk again.

Below: Friday, Saturday and Sunday pics of his wound.

Support System

Nothing has really changed with Scarlet. He seems roughly the same since the quick improvement to his leaning as of Friday after the set back. He’s stiff and wobbles. He loses track of his hind end randomly when we walk and has to scramble to fix it.

But he is walking. And he is still eating and headbutting me for treats. He does his stretches even if he is somewhat resistant to the ones for the hind legs. We’ve got just over a week of sun in the forecast so I’m planning on walking as much as we can to help him with stiffness and building strength.

But this post is more about the people who have been keeping me sane. It’s only been two months of dealing with this and if everything goes well, we’ve got months more. The initial uncertainty was horrible for me. I went through waves of panic and somewhat-okay-but-really-just-dealing almost daily. I cried a lot. I’ve lost Scarlet once before when he was sold the summer before college. I know just how badly losing him will break me. And that terrifies me. I’m not ready (and likely never will be) to lose him again. So my normal emotional control was just gone.

I’d have absolutely collapsed into a pile of goo, tears and panic if my husband hadn’t been here. He’s been amazing with letting me cry and taking care of me. He’s had those hard talks and has even agreed to spend a bit more on trying to fix this than we’d ever talked about for emergency vet bills. He’s been the safe place I’ve needed through this whole experience and I can’t even express what his help has meant to me.

My friends have also been amazing. Karen and L. have listened to a crazy amount of panic ranting texts. They’ve talked me through the various research and treatment I’ve read. They’ve talked me off the panic ledge. And they’ve also added a dose of reality with giving me questions to consider when talking to the vet and questions to ask myself about how far can we go with this. Its incredibly hard to deal with something like this and have no one who really understands horses to talk about this with so they’ve been integral to my sanity.

My new vet has also been amazing. I regret not getting a second opinion immediately. The support I’ve received from her has been nothing but stellar. She’s responded to many emails and looked at many videos that I’ve taken of his movements. She’s even scolded me for castigating myself for making him worse. This last month, even with his setback, has been much easier than the first month because I know I’ve got a professional in my corner who has my back.

Another friend who has helped me is Holly. With Uno being in the stall right next to Scarlet, she’s able to see Scarlet super easily when she goes out to the barn. She always texts me and lets me know that he’s doing well or that she saw this that day. She’s even offered to walk Scarlet when she is out so that he gets some more exercise. I’m probably going to take her up on that. I think he will benefit more from having multiple short walks.

Even my team and coworkers at work have been supporting me. My team allows for a very flexible schedule so that I can potentially show up late from staying at the barn a bit too long. They are okay with me working from home on the bad days. My coworkers ask how my horse is doing and genuinely care about the answer.

And you guys. The blogsphere has been so supportive while I’ve been moaning about what is happening. Hearing people say they are keeping Scarlet in their thoughts matters a lot. Even though it is sometimes hard to make myself do the mental work for posts, it is worth it to update you all and hear back your supportive words.

I’ve had support from so many sides. I know we’ve just started dealing with Scarlet’s neuro issues but the first few months have been bad. You never want to be in a situation where you need the emotional and mental support system that I’ve experienced. But since I am, I cannot begin to describe how much I appreciate it. I’m so grateful to be in the place that I am in my life, with the people I have.

Thank you.

I F***ed Up

The title is how I feel, though I’ve been trying to get out of that mindset as there wasn’t any way I could predict this. Scarlet got worse. On Tuesday evening I put his blanket on him in preparation for the rain starting that night. He had pinned his ears at me and I thought it was amusing that he was so invested in the nekkid life that he was not happy with the blanket.

Wednesday it was very wet and we did not walk. I pulled his blanket partially off and groomed him, then did his stretches. Thursday morning I pulled his blanket off and watched his hind end lean to the side while trying to move around. I took him out of his stall for just a moment to see him walk. He made large crescents with his hocks and one of his hinds was toe dragging a fair amount.

I panicked. Obviously I did. I immediately started beating myself up for being stupid enough to put a blanket on my neurologically unsound horse. Its the only major thing that has changed. He’d been through rainy days where he couldn’t access the rest of his stall and hadn’t slid backwards so drastically.

I called the vet and she thinks it was likely a perfect storm of rain, plus rolling and struggling a bit more with the blanket and it getting cold. I was able to get more bute from her that day but I had to wait until the evening to give it to him as I’d given him the Equioxx that morning before I saw him move.

I’m so thankful that my team at work is very understanding and were okay with me ditching work to go meet the vet. I also worked from home for the rest of the day. The vet had suggested I try a hot, wet towel to try to and help him loosen up. Scarlet wasn’t sure about that idea but he was okay with the treats I stuffed in his mouth while doing that.


I went out at noon, 4 and then 7:30. Holly was out at 4 and was able to take a couple of videos of us moving. He’d actually loosened up some during the day. I think the heat of the sun was very comfortable for him. So the videos of him walking are much better than he was first thing in the morning.


He already showed some improvement Friday morning. He wasn’t leaning as much. I took him on a small walk and he seemed to be moving better overall. The fact that we could get out of the stall and go on a walk definitely caused me to take a breath and not continue freaking out.
Saturday morning he seemed fairly stiff. The leaning wasn’t very pronounced. But he definitely seemed stiff on his left hind. He ate his grain and then we got out on a walk. We did about five minutes. He seemed fairly alert and a bit energetic. He didn’t drag his hind at all and after walking he seemed to be slightly looser. He was resisting me trying to manually stretch his back legs. He allowed for the right leg to be stretched but the left he was very resistant on. I’m hoping that he will feel stable enough to allow me to stretch that one. I think it will help him a lot but I don’t want to force him. It’s not safe if he feels off balance for either of us.
So, I’m having issues with feeling guilty and being devastated that Scarlet got worse. We’d had such progress for the last couple of weeks. We’d graduated to fifteen minutes of walking and had even gone over a pole twice. It really sucks to have a backslide and feel responsible for said slide. I really hope that he gets to a better spot after a couple more doses of bute.

2019 Blogger Gift Exchange

I’ve watched the blogger gift exchange happen the past couple years and felt sad because I’d missed out on sign ups. I hadn’t known sign ups were happening actually. I wasn’t following every blog out there so I didn’t realized until too late that it was being run by Tracy at The Printable Pony. The second year I was following but missed the sign ups. I was determined to not miss it this year!

I got a message from Amy of Quantum Chromatic Abberation before thanksgiving telling me to look out for a couple of things headed my way. I got really excited! And then immediately felt guilty because I hadn’t purchased my gifts yet. (I’ve purchased them and they are on their way to the recipient now!)

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving a package arrived at the door addressed to me! I put it aside since I had guests over and wanted to enjoy opening it. After all the craziness of hosting at my house I was finally able to open it over the weekend.


There was a lot of stuff packed inside! Opening gifts is always fun but opening distinctly horse themed gifts is a step above that.


We have some delicious German Horse Muffins for Scarlet. Treats are always a welcome addition, though he really is getting spoiled with his variety right now. I’d actually considered buying these when I went to the tack shop a week ago so I’m glad I didn’t.

I’ve been looking for a softer horse treat to try to use to feed the Equioxx pills. I’d been putting the pill in my hand and then piling some sweet feed around it but I’ve been worried that it would drop out of his mouth as the pills really aren’t much bigger than an oat. A soft treat would be able to be squished around the pill and keep it in place. I had the chance to try these out this morning and it worked pretty well. The longer grains in the treat made it a little difficult but it managed to keep the pill well enough. They also broke apart into chunks easily so I can make these treats stretch as my pill giving treats! Scarlet loved them. He isn’t a picky horse but man does he love himself a nice treat.

Next is a miracle brush and some brush therapy. My brushes are disgustingly dirty right now. I generally keep them cleaner but got a bit lazy and then stuff got crazy so it hasn’t been on the top of my list. So this cleaner is very timely. I’m also interested to see what the miracle brush does as far as mud on a blanket. I just bought Scarlet a new blanket (I hope it fits) and he is definitely going to roll and get it muddy. I’d like to keep him looking at least partially respectable this winter so being able to clean it would be amazing.

img_20191130_155538695 The last thing in the box was a cactus cloth. I had zero idea what this was. Obviously it was supposed to be a horse thing but for what?! I had to go look it up.

Apparently, it is an all purpose grooming tool. It’s supposed to be great for getting mud off horses. Great for getting around joints and areas a brush doesn’t normally reach. Great to use in the bath.

I’ve never had one before so I’m interested to see how it looks. Scarlet isn’t particular about his brushes so I don’t think he will care one way or another as long as he is able to get treats in the process. I’ll report back once I’ve actually used it.

On Monday, a second little package was waiting for me after work. Amy is a really thoughtful and generous secret santa! (Thanks Amy!) I opened it up to find this adorable little guy.


It’s a little Scarlet felted ornament! I unfortunately do not have a tree to hang it on this year. But I will find somewhere in the house to display it. I have to be careful though. I’m sure this will be extremely interesting to my two cats and they will happily tear this apart in a heartbeat. It is adorable and I don’t want it to die an untimely death!

It was super fun to both find gifts and receive them this year in the blogger exchange. I’m so happy I managed to get onto the sign up sheet. It definitely started the holidays off right for me. Thank you Tracy for setting this up year after year. And thank you Amy for being an amazing secret santa!