Its been hard writing for a long time. Part of it was a loss of motivation and part of it was my routine being thrown off. Working from home means that I don’t have to be limited to just writing during lunch. So I haven’t been.
But I’ve been feeling horrible about that lately. I’ve been beating myself up over this. I want to publish. I can’t do that if I don’t write.
So I forced myself to write yesterday. Not much, just going for 250 words. But its something. Its more than what I’ve been doing. I’m going to try to force myself to get the minimum 250 each day. That adds up quickly. I will get there.
Look at me, trying to get a twice weekly update in.
I’ll admit that I’ve been slacking on the blogging because I just feel blah about the horse stuff lately. Rehab is pretty boring. I go out, feed Scarlet, groom him, walk however many pathetically short minutes we are currently capable of and fin. It’s difficult to come up with something that doesn’t look I’m just rearranging the same words.
But that’s really not an excuse. Blogging is for share, both of events and feelings. And let me tell you, I’ve got a lot of feelings about this situation.
Current feeling is cautiously optimistic. We increased on Tuesday. It ended up being a minute instead of 30 seconds. I wanted to get him a nice turn around spot vs the small pivot points we’ve had previously. It added an extra 30 seconds onto the walk but I think he really appreciates being able to turn smoothly.
I was a bit concerned about it but he seemed to walk just fine that first day. I figured I hadn’t pushed it so far given how good he’d been doing that we’d have to do more than drop back to the previous distance. And it turned out I was right. He did fine. We had a few more stumbles than I normally like to see for after an increase on Wednesday but I think its still within ‘safe’ ranges. He isn’t struggling a lot while walking, only a bit near the end. He has minor losses of hind end control. Overall it went well.
I held my breath on Thursday as sometimes the second day is worse than the day after. But he seemed to be even better than Wednesday. I was really pleased. I don’t know how long he is going to need at this distance before I feel like he can increase again. But if it is less than 14 days, he will have effectively doubled the increases he can actually do. I’m hoping he is good in about a week as that will definitely help my case of the acupuncture and equipulse improving his recovery.
So, feeling cautiously optimistic. I really hope that I can stay that way for a while.
Scarlet got his feet done last Thursday. I was really nervous about this as the last couple of times have just been so hard. They always end up setting us back in our progress. But luckily, I’d also convinced my husband to try another treatment to see how his progress goes with that now that I have an idea of what his progress looks like just normal walking. And it just so happened to be scheduled that day as well.
Thursday morning the farrier showed up and wow did Scarlet do well. Only a couple of wobbly moments but he really didn’t need to lean on the farrier and we didn’t go down. It was so amazing to see. I see his progress and changes every single day so what I see is just tiny slivers. Its very hard to convince myself that yes he really is improving. But then I have something like the farrier coming over and I can really compare how he was two months ago to how he is today. It felt amazing.
I was really happy with how he held himself but I was sure he’d still be sore as he doesn’t have full feeling or much muscle right now. He really liked his acupuncture and equipulse treatment and was such a good boy, per usual. The vets commented that he seemed more positive attitude wise, like he was just feeling better overall. I hope so. He’s never been super down mentally to me but its nice to see him slightly more energetic.
The aftermath of the farrier visit is what was worrying me. I was expecting him to still have a lot of trouble. Previously, we’ve had to decrease our walks down to nothing and slowly work our way back up. But this time, we didn’t. We kept them at the exact same distance. We walked slower and I could see that he was definitely sore on his left hind but we were able to do it with only the stumbles that I expect to see out of him. There wasn’t any complete loss of his hind. It was amazing.
On Sunday, he did the same distance 30 seconds faster than the previous days. I plan to increase again on Tuesday, which is only 5 walking days after the last distance increase. It has been taking us a week or so each increase so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can start to ramp up that speed. It would be great for him to get walking more.
The walking is what I tend to gauge his improvement off of. But I do need to remind myself that there are smaller things too. Like him being balanced enough to get a really good head rub using my shoulder. Or being able to eat from his feeder while I clean out his feet. These things are small and if I don’t focus on them, they are easy to miss. Its slow progress but its progress.
Scarlet has been doing fairly well. Nothing spectacular as far as improvement. We are up to about 5 minutes of walking. I’ve only been able to do 30 second increases every week. I’d hoped they could happen faster but I am taking it slow and watching how he walks. Right now, where we are he starts to have a bit more coordination problems at the very end of our walk. So it feels like the right distance. I’ve just got to let time give him feeling and muscle back.
The flies are disgustingly bad right now. The wet winter means that we have so many flies. Scarlet has been wearing his front fly boots (he can’t stand the back ones and will hardly move when they are on which is a problem I don’t need to face right now) and seems to be happy with them. The eared fly mask is definitely helping. His ears are already healing inside.
He’s got a couple of rubs on his right fore that he keeps biting at. The fly boots were doing okay at keeping him away from it and keeping the flies off but this weekend he decided he really needed to self-mutilate and bit at them through the boot. It seemed to have only been the upper one on the pastern so I put some gauze on and wrapped a bit of elasticon on there so he couldn’t get at it, even without the boot. But the lower one, just above the coronet band is now the target. So I’m going to be spending the day googling ‘how to wrap coronet band’ to see if I can figure out a way to keep that part covered until the rubs heal.
On a fun note, Lina did her first barn trip with me this weekend!
The dog that is allowed to run loose (even while the flipping owner is riding which absolutely pisses me off) approached Lina at full speed. Not 100% sure if it was aggressive but Lina is still dog shy. She can get along with them but having one run at her when she wasn’t on her home turf scared her and she barked at the dog. The dog obviously didn’t listen to Lina saying back off and kept coming. Someone finally came to get the d*mn dog as it was NOT listening to the owner calling it from the flipping arena. (What me? Annoyed? Not at all.)
After that, Lina and I walked away from the arena to the calmer back part of the barn. I let her lead and went where she seemed comfortable. Aside from a startled bark at a horse walking by she didn’t make another peep. She walked when she felt comfortable and found a couple of shady spots to sit and absorb when it got overwhelming. She circled back to me for reassurance a few times and got some scratches from a bunch of people at the barn. She loves people.
She also got to meet a lab called Hudson. He’s a therapy dog and is very very chill. She wasn’t sure about it but he stayed laying down (whining a bit in eagerness) and let her approach. When she did approach, he turned his head away to show her he wasn’t aggressive and let her sniff him. She got to sniff his whole body without him reacting. It was such a good experience for her.
She did really really well for her first time at the barn. I want to take her out more as she needs to get used to everything. I’d love for her to come out more with me, though it is going to be a long time if ever that I trust her recall enough to have her off leash. She’s just very independent and isn’t always interested in coming to me. But I would love to have a barn dog and I think she would enjoy it as well.
Scarlet did really well with the increase on Monday. We’ve been walking every day and he seems to be moving well. He only steps on the outside of his right hind foot. He gets a bit more centered as he walks but his balance never gets fully normal. Its much better than it has been though so I will accept that.
Overall, his movement has been really good. I was hoping to increase again on Friday after several good days of walking but on Wednesday and Thursday he was just slightly more clumsy than I would like. No real bad loses of his hind end but more interference with his legs. I think he probably could have done it but I would rather take this slow and not have any issues than push him.
Saturday, I came out to another fat leg.
It was only his lower leg this time and the other hind leg. It was swollen but with no heat so I figured I’d just try my best to deal with it on my own before needing to get anything from the vet. The heat was what had concerned her about his other leg last time. He also had some torn up ears, which my vet said were from gnats. I’ve purchased an eared flymask for him so hopefully his ears can heal. He has been shaking his head a lot so I know it has been bothering him.
We continued walking even with his leg as he’s keeping his weight on it the same amount he had been before it puffed up. Movement is supposed to be good for swelling so I figured as long as he isn’t in pain, we’d keep it up. He’s moving fairly well still.
Sunday I couldn’t tell if his leg had gone down. It felt like it did but that could be wishful thinking. It definitely wasn’t worse and the swelling goes down after walking. We did a tiny increase on Sunday morning. He did fine for the walk but its always a little difficult to tell if its too much the day of. Tomorrow will let me know. Fingers crossed for decreased swelling and no bad reaction to the increase of distance.