I went to visit Ollie on Saturday evening for the first time since school started. He was really happy to see me, which was a relief because I do worry about him forgetting me. He suckered me into giving him a ton of treats and scratching his withers for a solid five minutes. He was so lovey and cuddly and all-around wonderful. He was nuzzling my face and down the backs of my legs, it was just really cute. And of course my mom was there, and she almost made me cry because she kept saying “you know he loves you” and things like that… I really do miss him, and I promised him that however this whole lameness thing turns out, someday soon I’m going to have him somewhere where I can visit him every single day.
He had an ultrasound on his hind right this past Wednesday, and the results were very good. I’m not sure how much I’ve written on here about what has been happening, but basically we took him to Leesburg in July and they diagnosed him with a hind right suspensory tear. He got 3 rounds of shock wave treatment, and this most recent ultrasound showed that the tear is almost half the size that it was in July. He’s still lame on it, but he’s definitely healing. We’re thinking of taking him back to Leesburg soon to get a round of platelet-rich plasma injections. Our vet says he believes they would definitely help, so it’s just up to the Leesburg vet we’ve been consulting with. I’d just like to say here, that I’m SO SO LUCKY AND GRATEFUL that my parents are supportive and financially able to do all of this for us. The vets say that Ollie’s ultimate prognosis is “very good,” whatever that means, and I know that we’re getting him the best treatment possible.
We’re still looking at 4-6 more months of stall rest, but as of now he can start being hand walked ten minutes a day. He can move up to 15 minutes a day in a few weeks. We’re going to re-ultrasound him in about 2 months to make sure he’s still making progress, and hopefully I’ll have a horse back by next summer… I really don’t want to get my hopes up, though, because it’s really been one thing after the other with this horse. For the two weeks or so that he was sound in July, he was still having stifle issues, so stifle surgery is definitely in our future. Maybe in February.
As terrible as this situation has been, I really do have to look on the bright side. My parents are supportive, we found a perfect barn for him to rehab at, and he’s 7 years old. He has youth on his side, and he can spend a few years off and still be in the prime of his life.
I guess I’m going to try to find a free lease/lessons/SOMETHING in Shippensburg/Carlisle PA for the fall
I can’t just not ride anymore.
I haven’t been to see Ollie in almost 2 weeks because he makes me too sad.
He’s being well taken care of by the barn owner, hooves picked every day, etc. It’s just that every time I go out to the barn, I want to do something, train somehow… and I can’t. He injured himself again when I was trying to work on his newfound trailering issues 3 weeks ago. We can’t even do simple ground work without him losing his mind and slicing his pastern open. It’s a 40 minute drive to the barn, so it’s illogical for me to go out every day just to give him cookies.
He’s getting shockwave therapy for the right hind (our vet does it at the farm instead of us trailering him back to Leesburg for it, because hey, he tries to kill himself instead of loading!) and his right front laceration seems to be healing.
I’m just trying to separate myself from it. I need a break. He’s getting a break. Dreams and expectations are on hold, he’s on stall rest until further notice, all 4 shoes are pulled, and I’m just going to let the vet and Kate figure out when he’s allowed to be turned out again. I’m not expecting to get on him or do anything with him at least until winter break, maybe next summer, or maybe never again.
I’ll go out and groom him tomorrow. I bring him Lickits and stall toys. He gets SmartHoof, RecoveryEQ, and Calm & Cool supplements. He’s not neglected. I just can’t keep getting my hopes up.
In other news, if you live near Frederick, MD or Shippensburg, PA and have something for me to ride, let me know…..
Ollie is lame again
He was sound for ~2 weeks, it seemed like the fitness plan was working, I was starting to do a couple strides of canter each ride
Aaaand then on Wednesday, he was lame in that right hind again. His x-rays are clean, nerve blocking doesn’t show anything, it’s basically a mystery. He’s not dead lame, it’s just… shuffle-y. More of an unsoundness than a lameness.
He does catch his stifles a TON so stifle surgery is pretty much definitely in our future but that shouldn’t make him this lame.
Soooooooooooo tomorrow my mother is calling Leesburg/Marion duPont Equine Medical Center and we’re going to make an appointment for a big fancy lameness exam, with the bone scans, MRIs, the works.
It’s a little ridiculous considering he’s not an expensive horse, but my mom wants to do it, and I’m not going to say no. He’s only 7 years old, if we get him fixed I have years of horse left. Hopefully they can figure out what is wrong with him and fix it… we’ve been fighting lameness since late November, with lameness in this particular leg since about April. We think it’s higher up in the leg, so either stifle or hip would make sense.
As for him, though, he’s totally happy. He loves his quiet recovery barn with the huge window and stall fan, he loves his little field with a water trough he can repeatedly climb into (no matter how hard we try to stop that), and he’s just generally in good spirits. Personality-wise, he’s my horse. He’s more fit now, considering I’ve been walking him for about 45 minutes every single day, and trotting for about 10 (when he’s sound). It’s just that damn leg that’s getting in our way.
Today I bought a shedding blade because my horse is hairy for the first time in his entire life.
Also got horsey shampoo, conditioner, Miracle Groom, fly spray, aaaand a fly mask! Hopefully he keeps it on, he hasn’t worn one since he was a 4 year old because he plays too hard and rips them within a few days. But now that he’s turned out by himself (and will hopefully be turned out with some golden oldies in the near future) I’m hoping he won’t be able to do so much damage.
I’m about to go out to the barn (it’s a 45 minute drive to his rehab place, THIS SUCKS), and see if he’s still as lame as he was Thursday and Friday. If so, we’re calling the vet tomorrow morning, wahoo.
Ha ha ha why is my horse still lame ha ha ha
It seems like his fronts are okay for now, but he’s still off in his hinds. Not significantly lame, but off. I can’t find any swelling, but he’s sensitive in the heels of both of his hind hooves.
Easy fix: He needs hind shoes. Fingers crossed/BEGGING that this is the answer because holy lord that’d be awesome.
Hard fix: Mystery lameness. No one knows. Hoo-ha. Or, back issues/something in his hips.
Calling vet on Monday to ask his opinion on the shoes, then possibly farrier if the vet thinks its a good idea.
If this doesn’t work out, we’re looking at second opinions/equine hospitals for tests/who fucking knows. My mom insists that she’s not giving up on him, no matter how expensive he gets, so that’s a relief I guess… he’s 7 years old, we need to figure this out.
Also, he’s fat. Fat fat fat. Gonna have to back off on that beet pulp/sweet feed combo, because DAMN. Who’d have thought that the ribby little TB-looking thing could suddenly turn into a draft horse after a few months of rest.
I finally got see Ollie again!! @erinstartover
@erinstartover and Ollie!!
They’re so cute! @erinstartover
Ollie is fat
No one believed me, but it’s true.
Maria came to see him yesterday and couldn’t stop laughing at him.
Pooor fattyyy ponyyy.
He’s almost 100% going to the left now, but still a little shuffle-y going to the right. HOWEVER he’s about a million times better than the last time I was able to go see him, which was about 3 weeks ago. That was when he was noticeably lame at the walk, and the vet came out and diagnosed him with the abscess in his right hind.
Vet says it could take up to six weeks for the “soft spot” in his hoof to heal up completely, and until then, we should just continue with the light riding unless he gets worse. Now that I’m officially home from school, I get to do the rides instead of Kate :) Yay! Pony time!
I wish my horse looked decent in ear bonnets. I used to have one for him, but it covers his only white marking (his little star) and it just makes him kinda look like a goon.
I just want to go home and ride. I keep getting all excited about all these things I want to do with Ollie this summer, but then I remember that he’s still lame and I honestly don’t know if he’ll get better… my summer could be spent crying and walking my horse in circles, only to the left.
Kate has been riding him again for a little over a week, and she said he’s pretty good, but not quite 100%, to the left, and our vet wants her to keep riding him to increase circulation yadda yadda. He told us to take it easy on going to the right while the abscess grows out, as he could have a “soft spot” in his hoof for up to 6 weeks. He’s not going to be sound yet, but he needs to keep being ridden (at the walk).
The optimistic part of me says, “It’s just an abscess! It’ll heal and he’ll be back to normal!” The realistic part of me says, “It probably wasn’t just an abscess, he probably has a million other issues that will surface as soon as this one is healed, we’re never going to be completely sound again.”
At this point, I’m just losing hope of ever having a fully functional Ollie ever again. I’m always going to have to be super careful and super attentive to how he feels, and that’s going to be so difficult because he’s NOT going to feel like normal. He’s out of shape, and it’s so hard for me to figure out if he feels funny because he’s fat and has no muscle or if he feels funny because he’s kinda in pain.
So, yeah. I get all excited about going home in nine days and getting to spend every day at the barn with him getting both of us back on our game, but I’m 99.9% sure that it’s just going to lead to more heartbreak.
had a phone conversation with my mom about how i need to ride
she mentions that i’ll have access to a bunch of school ponies in a few weeks
"but they’re not MY horse"
Ooooh Ollie update!
It was an abscess. A deep, deep abscess that’s definitely been in there for a while. It blew out of the top of his heel (hind right hoof). The vet kept using the term “gravel” and my poor mom didn’t know what it meant, haha. All the information that I have has been relayed through my mom (Kate handled Ollie and the vet called my mom after the appointment). My mom is not a horse person, so I might not have the whole picture.
He’s going to be ouchy for a while still but the vet says he can return to light work on Monday. Kate told me he was only a little bit off today. It’s going to take about 4 weeks for it to really heal up, and the vet seemed kind of concerned with how deep it was. It’s likely that it damaged some tissue inside of his hoof, and he might have a soft spot there for a while. The vet would recommend that we soak the hoof, but considering it’s a hind hoof and my horse is an asshole he knows that’s not really possible, sooo disinfectant sprays it is. If anything seems to get worse, we’re supposed to call him right back out.
Honestly, I don’t mind that we’re going to be iffy for another month. As long as the vet knows what’s going on and is confident, I’m fine. As long as it’s not a mystery lameness. I’ll be home in 3 weeks and then I’ll get to spend every day with my stupid gimpy horse, so it’s okay.