Thank you so much Cloudyand callie- I'm guessing autocorrect got your donated to debated... but if anyone would like to try to negotiate the bill down on our behalf... lol.- It's worth a try! But seriously it's a very fair and modest bill- and Dee is a gem.
Spirit update- I turned him loose with his muzzle on in the yard... he decided that he would much rather get it all over with and just go join the geldings- so he slipped under the electric fence gate (which is strung higher than his back) and sauntered out to say hi. There was a little bit of chasing that had my heart in my throat- but Spirit was able to run full tilt while donkey kicking to defend himself. Very impressive. Then the established herd just gave him the cold shoulder and he came back to me ... I think to ask me to take the muzzle off. I figured he's had enough excercise for the morning and took him in for his hay.
I'd like to do a little video to show how he moves, and just get people's ideas about it. It's somewhere between "ponyish" and "stilted" he seems to keep his knees very straight and there is not very much flex in the pastern.
I just made a little vid- I'm on my way to town where hopefully I can get a high enough speed internet connection for an upload. As far as gait analysis vids go.... this one is a fail... it could be titled- "Watch the pony on a diet find the hay!"
I wish I had thought to video him before his feet were trimmed... I guess I was so focused on the moving onward that I wasn't too interested in documenting the before. My thinking on his movement is that when his feet were rocker shaped- bending the knee or pastern didn't really help him lift the foot off the ground- it just put a different part of the hoof on the ground- so I think he adapted by lifting his feet off the ground through the shoulder and keeping the rockers parallel to the ground. It seems almost to me like the action of a person pretending to be a locomotive with their arms.
I wonder if there are exercises- (like cavelleti?)- which would encourage him to begin to use his knees to lift his feet?
Would arthritis have shown up on the radiographs? I don't recall the vet saying anything about that- and she also seemed very impressed with his mobility.
I also wonder if his toes aren't still really sore from the trim and if lifting the flat feet straight up isn't less painful than breaking over like a normal horse. He doesn't strike me as being in pain (although today he might be sore this evening from running when he was chased this morning) It's just hard not knowing what might be permanent- and what is just a stage in healing.
He looks amazing! What a change in such a short amount of time. He thankfully doesn't look nearly as chubby as the initial pictures so hopefully with continued trims his feet will get better and better!
I bet you will notice a much sounder pony in a few weeks from now.
My farm is cross fenced with a single strand of electric fence and I don't yet have a *little* pony tight enclosure for Spirit- so I have been turning him out 2x a day loose in the yard- or pasture with the geldings if he chooses to walk under the gate- with his muzzle on. We have a understanding that seems to be working ok- that going into his stall gets him food without the muzzle- and putting on the muzzle gets him unlimited freedom to go be a pony in the great outdoors (he LOVES to ROLL- yesterday I saw him roll over 6x in a row! ..fatty Mcfatty) Anyway it seems that the way I've got it worked out- each time I appear and ask for a change- it's beneficial to him from his POV.
So this evening- I was soaking his hay and surveying the damage from my husband's brief bushhog excursion ... oh yes, he mowed my MARKED WITH A FLAG front yard baby buckeye bush (don't ask me why the bushhog was in the front yard) that I planted last year from seed, he ran over the top of the old farmhouse crank-chain-cistern well which I had been planning to paint with our farm name and house number and install out at the road... and he hit the side of my barn and broke two boards off Sprocket's dutch door... and then he was attacked by ants who must have taken up residence in the tractor seat... good thinkin' ants... I mean at a certain point you just have to say enough is enough.
Anyway- I rinsed out the hay and was letting the bag drip while the sun was sinking low and I called to Spirit who was out on the other side of the pond- and he looked up- and I showed him the hay bag- "Look buddy! Dinner!" and he came right in to me!! <3 <3 <3
I got a phone message today from wonderful Dee at the Vet's- and a big chunk of Spirit's bill has been taken care of through the loving generosity of several wonderful COTHers working together- I'm going to be able to pay off the remainder tomorrow. Thank you guys SO much for your help and I'd love to name everyone, but I don't know who wants to remain anonymous, (in fact I think there were one or two people I didn't even know about) but Thank you all so much- and Hundredacres- that muzzle is SUCH an important part of this whole rehab (and new life)
I now think of you all as:
Now for the bad news- yesterday Spirit came in a little off in the front left and I figured that he'd probably pulled something in the new herd shenanigans- and I gave him some bute with his farrier's formula- and this morning he seemed much better. Today whenever I looked out to check on him- he seemed OK- but he was always stationary. When I went out to bring him in he was close to 3 legged lame- and I had to go back and get a whip so I could convince him to walk with me. I don't feel any swelling anywhere on the leg- his hoof seems a teeny bit warmer than the other. I'm going to go out to the barn again and see if I can feel any pulse. I'm confused if it is likely abscess- or laminitis flaring up- or maybe a tendon or muscle issue from the new excercise of turnout. I'll be calling Dr. Wolfe in the AM. For tonight's care I'm not sure if I should try a hot or cold soak or just leave him be. I did give him some more bute around 8:00 PM.
I had taken a little video of him this morning- not because of his "offness" but because for the first time he had chosen to break into the spotted pony pasture instead of the gelding field- so he got a little run-around from Freckles and Lacey (who had met him nose to nose in the barn but never at large.) A little bit of unsoundness does show in the video beyond his normal odd gait but it was much improved from yesterday afternoon- so I was hoping it was just a little twist or strain already on the mend- but tonight he's really bad. (I'll work on posting the little vid here in a few)
Here is the video I made of Spirit meeting Freckles and Lacy this morning.
Yesterday afternoon I noticed he was a little off on the left front- but this morning seemed much improved- but this evening worse.
PS- Freckles and Lacey are full brother and sister POAs 15 and 14 yrs old and Lacey became blind in one eye (uveitis and glaucoma) just over a year ago. They used to live with the whole herd, but I have decided that for Lacey's well being and safety that she would do better with a quieter turnout with just her brother.
Hundredacres!! I got the boot ON!!! I tried to soak Spirit's foot in a bucket but he was having none of that- but I'd already gotten his foot wet and thought maybe the boot would go on wet even if I couldn't get it on dry- and it was a tight squeeze- but we did it!! Thank you SOOO much for the boots and who would have known I would need them so soon. You are a superstar to me right now!~
I am really blessed with some wonderful horses in my little herd- that is for sure! When I had to take Lacey to Rood and Riddle to see the eye specialist- Freckles is her nursmaid and constant companion- you just don't separate them- so I had to tell R&R that two ponies were coming and they could/would share a stall... and when Dr. Latimer gave Lacey the sedative- you should have seen Freckles' head drop... his knees were almost buckling he got so relaxed (pretty wierd in that sixth animal sense way) and it was so funny how many of the staff had to come out to see the ponies- and her I was feeling like such a hayseed with my homeytown ponies in a stall right next to a famous TB - but they thought they were so neat- of course it was a bummer to be there for the exact thing that the breed is known for having problems with.