Wow....its been a while!
Sorry I haven't been around much. We have just had so much going on that its been hard to find the time to write anything. :(
I have been having a lot of flare ups lately so doing anything other then taking meds and trying to relax has been a bit harder then normal. But, I am really trying to move past the pain and just do what I need to do. That being said...
Tia has been really good for me lately. She has, however, gotten a bit too fat and that is causing some issues with saddle fit. She gets very little grain, little to no hay (because its been so hot and she just wastes it) and she is out on pasture 24/7. Her and Dotimus are BFF's and go everywhere together. They even stand in the same stall a lot of the time in front of one fan. Goofy girls. I never would have thought that Tia would ever be able to share a stall (she doesn't have to, they choose to) with another horse. I figured she would go into "territory" mode and her stall would be off limits to everyone but her and her Mom. But noooooo. Her and Dot are butt buddies...and I couldn't be happier!
I had been riding Tia a bit more. She is very un-happy about this whole trotting business. I'm pretty sure that whoever taught her, or lack there of, was very good at using force to make her do what they wanted. Let me just put this out there. Tia is extremely bullheaded and headstrong. She is very much of the opinion that if she doesn't want to do it, you are s-o-l. Luckily for me, my mare Majic was the exact same way. So I understand her brain a bit better then she thinks I should. OK fine, you don't want to trot, fine, lets go backwards or in a circle or both! Ha-ha sucker! Her new trick, to me at least, is when you ask for the trot she will throw her head in the air, ears laid flat back and plant all four feet on the ground. Its a very clear "NO". Now, this behavior doesn't really bother me. I know what to do to get her to do what I ask of her and to make it fun. Its this wonderful also new behavior of turning her head towards me and BITING AT MY LEG that makes me want to kill her. She found out that that is an absolute NO NO when my foot flew forward and knocked her right in the nose. (sorry to the squeamish NH people who think violence isn't the answer - most of the time I would agree with you. But when it comes to biting or kicking someone, all bets are off. )
So anyway, the riding was going well....until I got there this past Wed night and she was DEAD LAME! Sigh. I checked her feet, no heat. I watched her move a bit on the lunge line - def a stifle problem. So I go into the feed room, after taking her back to the barn, and notice that she is completely out of MSM. Now, I am very used to feeding my own horse and this whole boarding at a full care facility is a bit new to me. The last fc facility I was at, I worked there, and it was our job to make sure that the horse owners knew when their horses were in need of supplement replacements. Tia had NO MSM. None. I cant even tell you when she ran out. I wasn't particularly mad, I mostly blame myself. I should have known she was going to need some soon, but time slipped away from me and I honestly figured someone would leave me a note...nope. Oh well.
So Wed night I gave her some bute to help with the pain. Went back Thursday night for more bute...no real change. Went back Friday night with MSM in hand. Gave her bute and MSM and didn't go back until Sunday. Sunday afternoon - 85% better! She was barely limping and putting full weight on her leg. This tells me a few things.
1 - she will be on MSM for the rest of her life. I am A-OK with this. MSM is one of those things that I love for many different reasons. It helps the skin and coat. Helps with joints and muscles. Helps with allergies. I love this stuff.
2 - Tia originally came to me with what I thought was a nasty Stifle injury. At that time, she wasn't on any pain management and just had to deal with her pain. What I thought was nasty then, was nothing compared to the pain she really must have been in. She had learned to deal with the pain before I came along with my fancy smancy supplements. Now, after being off of her supplement for however long it was, she was in enough pain that should could barely walk. I truly thought that she had re injured it...but now I believe I was wrong. She never re injured it...it has never, and probably will never, heal. If this injury was that bad, I cant even imagine the pain she must have been in. No wonder she was a bitch!
3 - This mare really truly trusts me. It is more then I could ever ask for from her.
So I gave her some time off and let her body readjust to the MSM.
Last night, Tuesday, I went to the barn to start with rehab. The plan was to take her for a walk through the trails to start re-strengthening that stifle. So I get to the barn...there she is...in all her fat pony glory....sound as could be. Not a limp, not a hitch, nothing. But I didn't want to take any chances. So, I popped a few Motrin for pain and stepped out into the humidity that is Southern Maryland in late Summer. Ugh. I knew immediately that this was probably a bad idea on my part, but I had a plan, and I was sticking to it.
Tia walked right into her stall to greet me and give me kisses. I slipped her halter on her, walked her out to the grass, fly sprayed her, and then we went off down the trail.
No chain, no whip. Just two girls going on down the trail. Now, let me impress upon you the amount of fricking hills this effing trail had. O M G. I seriously thought I was going to die! Tia, on the other hand, had a wonderful time. I had to laugh at myself at one point. The thought that ran through my head was "Most people take their dogs for walks....I take my horse!" I let her go on a semi loose line. She felt really relaxed and just really wanted to look at stuff and run her nose in the dirt along the way. The only issue we had, which really wasn't her fault, was when we came to the clearing at the bottom of the hill the horseflies smelled fresh meat. Good Lord can this girl buck! She was NOT happy. Every time I would kill one, 3 more would come out to eat her. So, we turned around and headed back to the barn. I can honestly say that I think I could have ridden her bareback down the trail and she would have been perfect. She watched where she was going and slowed down and thought about things before making a decision on how to navigate whatever was in front of her. I was very proud of her.
This next part is a little embarrassing but oh well. Like I said..hills...lots of hills. I am not in the best shape. It was hot and humid, and the pain in my joints was literally going to make me fall over and cry. Tia, literally, reached under my arm with her head, put my arm over her neck and walked me right up the hill. She was slow and steady and whenever I would falter, she would catch me. I could have cried right then and there. This mare, this evil bitchy sadistic killer mare, was literally trying to help carry me up the hill to safety. I gave her a big hug and a kiss when we reached the barn and turned her back out. I then promptly went over to my car and threw up. Sigh. Poor Tia thought I was dying. I reassured her that I was fine and sat for a few minutes to make sure I wasn't going to pass out. I'm thinking that maybe I should start walking trails without Tia as well.....
Misty, the 36 year old mare at our barn, passed away a few weeks ago. We all knew it was coming, but its still sad. She had laid down in her stall and refused to get up. RIP Misty.
Even though there is now a stall up at the big barn, I don't think I want to move Tia up there. Her and Dot are BFF's and I cant see splitting them up. I am trying to convince Roo to come over there, but I know her money is tight. It would just take a lot of stress off of her. I worry about her. She is such an amazing young lady. Working, Going to school to be a nurse, taking care of her horse, and another persons horse, every day, its a lot for anyone to take on.
I guess I have rambled on for long enough. Will, Chi and I are headed to vacation the 21st - 29th! We are super excited. Renn Fest on the 21st (I believe, maybe the 22nd) then its mommy daddy day on Monday while Chi is at Daycare, then we leave Tuesday for Great Wolf Lodge in PA, we are home Thursday to relax and then on the road to Duck, NC with my Mom and Dad Friday - Sunday. We are super excited! I'm sure I will have lots of cool things to tell you all as well as some cool photos!