Monday, April 29, 2013


Not much exciting going on, since Lucy's three main jobs for at least the next two months are sleeping, eating, and pooping. Tough life, huh? She has easily gotten into the time-off-groove and spends the afternoons sunbathing in the warmth of the late Spring sun. Today I caught her kneeling down on one knee, front end twisted in an unnatural position, head jammed under the fence, eating the grass on the other side of the fence. I was like, huh, that does not look like a horse that has back pain. Not to say that I am going to get on her a second too early, but I am glad that she's feeling good enough to stretch like that.

I, however, am going nuts. To have battled through the whole winter, blizzards and all, just to get to the nice weather and then not be able to ride, seems unjust at best. This past weekend we had two pristine blue sky/70 degree days and what did I do? I cleaned Lucy's stall and swept out the barn. FUN. Oh, and I paid board. Even MORE fun. I really want to go for a nice trail ride, or take a lesson, or go to a clinic. I had applied for the USEA Area 1 eventing scholarship when Lucy was feeling good, but after the news from Tuft's I sadly withdrew my application, since my horse will be broken for the majority of the summer.

When I told my friends that Lucy was out of commission for a while, one of them offered to let me ride her mare at the upcoming RISPCA benefit ride that I do the T-shirt design for every year. I am thrilled about this, because this is a really COOL mare and I am sure we'll have a ton of fun together! I am very grateful that I won't have to sit this event out.

Beyond that, though, I'm not sure what will happen. I may be getting a little project horse to ride, or if that doesn't pan out I will just find a barn I can take lessons on a school horse at.

I loved keeping up to date with the action at Rolex this past weekend. I hope next year I can attend in person again. Here's a contest that Hillary from Equestrian at Hart is hosting, and it's Rolex-themed!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

baby horse therapy

Meet Little T and his mom, Lizzy:

Lizzy is a bit tired from dealing with Little T's energy ;)

Lizzy and Little T are both Section D Welsh Cobs. Little T is 4 days old.

so sweet

isn't she beautiful?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Houston, we have a diagnosis.

getting clipped for her neck ultrasound

What a week…

On Tuesday, Tuft's called after Lucy's scan was completed to give me the preliminary results. On the scan, the base of her neck, her back, both hocks, and her right stifle appeared to have "mild uptake", which basically means there was some bone remodeling going on in those areas, which could signify injury. She said if I was willing to ride her, that would help them narrow it down a bit. I was overwhelmed with this news, to say the least. I expected an issue, but not THAT many issues! The vet I spoke to was not the head vet on Lucy's case and she said the head vet would be calling me later unless they got very busy.

Shortly after I got that news, I was leaving work when my mum called to tell me she was rushing Cassie, my Golden Retriever, to the vet. Cassie had been diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago and shocked everyone by surviving much longer than the two months she was given by the vet but my mum said it did not look good, and I should prepare myself for bad news. I went home and laid in bed with Cairo, bawling my eyes out.

The bad news came at about 6pm and my mum told me they had put Cassie down. She had suffered a seizure and the vet thought the cancer had probably spread to her brain, judging from her symptoms. I was very upset that Cassie had suffered at the end, since the plan had been to put her down at my family's home on a nice warm sunny day before things got too bad, so that we weren't rushing her somewhere in the midst of a crisis. Suffice to say that plan got pushed back many times because Cassie kept having good days and her bad days were pushed aside as glitches.

Anyway, I am glad she is no longer in pain but this was very hard news for me to hear. Rest in peace, sweet Cassie.

The head vet didn't call about Lucy that night but I wasn't in any shape to talk to her, anyway.

On Wednesday I was at work super early because I had to leave at 12 to go get my tack and the trailer and then head up to Massachusetts to get Lucy by 3:30. Maddy came with me for support and to help me get Lucy on the trailer.

check out my awesome back-up job...I did it without a spotter

We arrived at Tuft's at about 3pm and we had time to snuggle with Lucy, who was very happy to see us, and to brush her and tack up. I bulked up in my FITS breeches and my crash vest since I thought Lucy would be pretty hot after some time off and three days in a stall at Tuft's. Tuft's has a nice big round pen in the front of the large animal hospital and I rode her in there. She held it together fairly well; Tuft's resident school horse was running around like a maniac just across the driveway, someone was hammering something across the parking lot, and cars/trucks/trailers were coming and going. So in that respect, I was proud of her. She still was quite spicy and tried to buck me off when I asked her to go round. Trotting to the left in a small circle, she was quite lame up front but I was relieved she displayed some of her typical behaviours after looking so sound on Monday when we dropped her off.

After I finished riding, the vet students untacked her and hosed her off for me (is this what a full service boarding facility feels like?!) and we decided to do some ultrasounds of the areas the vets were most concerned about. Lucy was all excited so she got some happy juice and took a little nap while the vet clipped her in the areas they wanted to ultrasound. So now she has a nice skunk stripe down her back, a patch over her SI, and two big patches of missing hair on either side of her neck.

all finished up and ready to go home!

Oh well, we got our diagnosis: when scanning her back, the vet found a hypoechoic region of the supraspinatous ligament centered over T15, with some of the lesion extending to T14 and T16. This is consistent with supraspinatous desmitis (tear). Her SI was picture perfect and her neck had no major issues, either. The recommendation is two months off, but she can get turned out, and then we'll re-scan the injured area to see if it has healed. The vet thought she could go back to work after two months but cautioned me not to ride her until she's been ultrasounded again because putting her back in work too early could undo all of her healing.

The vet said there's a million different ways she could have hurt herself but she probably did it cavorting around in the indoor because she really gets going in there, bucking and carrying on. So that will be a no-no in the future.

If she heals properly, she won't have any restrictions with jumping or anything like that. We could theoretically be back out eventing in the fall and that, my friends, is great news. She doesn't need any joint injections, Adequan, or other drugs. Just time! The vet said we can practice trailer loading, go on walks in the woods in-hand, and I can pamper her to my hearts content…but no lunging, no riding, and she can't be outside yee-hawing around in her paddock.

We loaded her up on the trailer with some difficulty but NO drama. She didn't want to get on the trailer but she was not being an asshole about it, or getting worked up. She got on after about 40 minutes and we drove her home. She was so happy to get turned out this morning and she really missed the little Arab mare she's friends with, so that was cute.

Maddy and lucky am I to have a friend like Maddy?

Oh, one more cute thing: across the hall from Lucy was a little miniature donkey who had been admitted on Tuesday for an eye injury. The vet students told me they were friends and were talking back and forth to each other across the hall! How cute is that? Lucy would nicker at him and he would bray at her. As we walked her out of her stall to go out and ride her, the donkey got so upset and was braying for her to come back. Aww poor baby.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Racehorse Sound

You know how it feels when you can't open a jar, even after running it under hot water and rubbing all the skin off your palm trying to pry it open? And then you hand it to a friend and they effortlessly unscrew it?

Or when you swear the car is making some horrible sound but after making an appointment with the mechanic and driving the car there, you turn it on for the mechanic to hear this sound and what do you know, the car runs like it was right off the dealer lot.

Or your horse is on and off NQR for a while and three different vets look at her and one finally says, "Let's get a bone scan done" so then you truck the horse to the next state over, pay a whooooole lot of money for her to have this test, and wait patiently for the vet to come do the preliminary exam. The vet meets your horse, watches her walk and trot in a straight line, lunges her, and watches her w/t/c on a lunge line. The horse moves BEAUTIFULLY and the vet turns to you and says, "She looks racehorse sound!"

Friends, this is the kind of day I had today. Lucy legitimately tried to kick my regular vet in the head when he poked her in the SI area just a week ago. Today, barely a reaction.

At home, she has looked sore on all four legs. Today, hardly a hitch.

The only symptom she displayed today was swapping off the hind lead going to the left at the canter. Other than that, she looked "great".

So, we left her there anyway, because I suspect she's feeling quite good after having time off (I haven't done anything with her since last Saturday) but once brought back into work, she will feel uncomfortable again.

One thing that was SUPER was her cooperation level. She loaded pretty well this morning after an atrocious loading practice session last night. Maddy helped me and took my stress level from a 10 to a 1. Seriously it was so helpful and awesome. We got to Tuft's early, I signed in, we unloaded Lucy, she waltzed right into the hospital like she owned the place, and she settled in her stall quickly and without an issue.

Then the vet came for the exam and Lucy was so cooperative, so level headed, and just so NICE to work around. I was soooo proud of her. The vet said she really liked her, too! I hope she remains on her best behaviour while she's there.

Tomorrow is the scan so I am crossing my fingers for some issue that can be fixed easily! Hey, a girl can dream!

Lucy was a brat for our practice session yesterday. Here she's trying to hide
around the side of the trailer. So fresh.

She did have a couple good efforts, though.

At Tuft's, waiting for the vet...and more cookies.

Being a very good girl for her flexion tests.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

sale on saddle pads

To help pay this newest massive vet bill (insurance will cover the bone scan but will not cover any injections and the vet guesses she'll need her SI injected), I am having a 25% off sale on saddle pads.

Gear up for competition season, get matching pads with a friend for hunter paces this fall, or start your holiday shopping early...please ;)

Current pricing is:

A/P Saddle Pads: $55 for one-sided pads, $85 for two-sided pads.

Dressage Saddle Pads: $60 for one-sided pads, $90 for two-sided pads.

So 25% off those prices is a pretty good deal!

To order, send me an email at

a custom pad I painted

a date with Tufts

Lucy's vet appointment yesterday went really well, in that the vet found her ovaries to be totally 100% normal. Yay, another thing NOT wrong with her!

He palpated her spine and her reactions went a bit like this:

withers: la la la
thoracic: la la coookiezzz
lumbar: la la wait a second...
sacroilliac: I'M GONNA KILL YOU!!!!

No really, her hind feet missed the vet by only a few inches. Yeah, not a happy horse at all.

So, Lucy will be going to Tufts in Boston for a bone scan on Monday, and the vet thinks she will probably need her SI injected. I am tired of chasing random "maybe" tests around, and I am ready to bring out the big tests. Thank goodness for insurance. I just want to get out and enjoy her again!

I am glad a vet finally listened to my concerns about her hind end. I wish we had gone this route sooner, but hey, now I know her repro system works just fine.

Lucy with some happy juice flowing through her veins

Cairo refuses to share her back seat with beet pulp

Sunday, April 14, 2013

jam-packed Saturday

I always go to the area tack sales to browse, but yesterday was the first time I have ever gone as a seller. Lauren and I, along with our friend Nate, all split a table at a local sale and I am thrilled to say I sold most of my more expensive stuff! I still had to bring a lot home, but the extra cash will help purchase more hay in a few weeks. I bought one thing: a nice-looking breastplate for $5! The leather looks kind of neglected but with a bit of TLC it will come right back to life.

I got back to the barn around 2pm, and at 3pm, my friend (J) arrived to do some Reiki on Lucy and I. I've never experienced Reiki but I am open to anything. From my very limited knowledge on the subject, Reiki is all about gathering energy and sending it places. J has been working on humans for a long time but wants to start working on horses, so she asked if Lucy could be a test subject. She "read" Lucy's energy, going around her whole body, and said she felt something very powerful just in front of her right hip, high up. She said she wasn't able to tell if it was an injury or something just bothering her, so she sent positive energy into the area. I gave my full attention to the way J was holding her hands, and tried to feel what she was feeling. Lucy started out agitated and untrusting of what J was trying to do, especially when she was next to Lucy's hind end, but after a few minutes Lucy calmed down so much that she was closing her eyes and dozing! She also worked on me a bit and said my energy lacked confidence and I was unsure about a lot of things in my life. Yes, I'd say that is pretty accurate. She gave me a few exercises, not physical exercises but more like meditative things, to try.

After that it was time to give poor Lucy her shot to bring her into raging crazy heat :( :( :(

I felt SO bad, seriously, I have watched this horse go through a lot of vet-related procedures (palpation, clearing out a obstruction during a colic, dental stuff, countless shots, etc) but this was the WORST thing I have ever had to watch her go through. I gave the shot and it went just fine; she was well-behaved as usual. About two minutes went by with no reaction and then suddenly, her whole hind end buckled under her, her head went up and the look in her eye was one of shock and fear, like what the hell is going on back there?! I just about had a heart attack and said to J, who had thankfully stuck around to watch her with me, should I call the vet? And she said, give it a few minutes, let's see how she does.

Lucy got very sweaty - she was sweating profusely on her chest, neck, and ears. Veins were popping out all over her body as if she'd just been for a gallop through the field, but other than the muscle spasms that came every 5-10 minutes for the first 40 or so minutes after I gave the shot, she seemed totally relaxed and continued eating her hay! I had left her halter on in case we had a real issue and I had to get her up or something, but thankfully it did not come to that. The spams were very obvious and looked painful - each time, her whole hind end from her hips backward would contract under her body. Being a female, I have an idea of what she was experiencing but I am pretty sure cramps in a horse are a whoooole lot worse than what I have had to endure. I just hope on Wednesday when the vet re-ultrasounds her, we can either move forward with the spay because that right ovary isn't doing its job, or we can put this whole issue to rest!

Anyway, after about 40 minutes, she stopped sweating and the cramps ceased. J headed home, and Maddy had come to the barn at that point so we both left to get a beer - we really needed it! ;)

In FUN news, my Ninja Rider shirt came in the mail and it is SOOO cute. I debated whether I should get one for a while and then they posted a 25% off sale, and I can never resist a good sale lol. I bought a baby pink t-shirt with the ninja and the grey jumping horse. SWEET!

"Oh, a PHOTOSHOOT? Let me get right in there."

"Well now I see I am not the focus of this photoshoot, only a PROP."

Trying to look more awesome than the shirt.

Trying to cover UP the shirt. She is something else!

Friday, April 12, 2013

out with the clips...

...and in with the, uh, non-clips?

Lucy got her feet done today and for the first time since I've owned her, she is wearing shoes without quarter clips.

As my farrier explained it to me, clips are good to keep the shoe straight on the horses foot, but they are bad if the horse has genetically crappy feet, like Lucy, because they cause the walls of the hooves a lot of trauma and the walls tend to break down around the clips.

It's taken six months, but Lucy's feet have recovered enough from her accident in November that the farrier had sufficient hoof wall to nail to without having to rely on clips to keep the shoe secure.

So I hope in the long run, her hoof walls will remain more stable and not fall apart so badly!

Here's a cute photo of her nuzzling the farrier - he is so patient and calm with her and I know she adores him.

it's only a waterbottle...

Poor Lucy.

Unsuspecting, sweet Lucy.

I decided not to ride yesterday, and instead, I brought some water bottles to the barn:

looks harmless, no?
 Oh, and then I tied one of them to my horse.

Oh and then I made her move.

She was a little upset at first but then relaxed and did quite well! I did this because she gets very worried about sounds coming from behind her, and she does not like when something gets caught in her tail in the woods and it gets dragged. I'd also like to teach her how to drag a log or something with weight, so this was kind of the first step to desensitizing her to having something bouncing along behind her.

good horsie.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

so this is what it's like to enjoy your horse

Another great ride on Lucy last night! My barn owner, P, and I went for a trail ride. Lucy was so good and we had a nice trot and canter in the field! On the way home, she was happy and relaxed. We even hopped over a little log and she cantered away happily. Then I found myself musing about upcoming schooling events, and I went home and applied for our Area 1 USEA Scholarship. Oh no, here we go again!

On the way back to the barn yesterday, we passed a couple walking whom we had also seen the day before, when she was acting insane. The girl commented, "better today?" and P laughed because I had just finished telling her what a nutter Lucy had been the day before! I said, "see, I wasn't lying!".

Lucy got her first dose of Doxy last night to treat the Lyme, and she gobbled it right up with her dinner. She gets one scoop twice a day, so she'll get it with her breakfast and dinner. Whenever she's on any kind of antibiotic, I also give her probiotics to prevent any digestive issues.

best view
The temperatures fell and we went from 80 degrees to low 50's, and tomorrow we'll be back in the 40's, so she'll probably be WILD again.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring in New England: from snow to 80 degrees in less than one week

Other than me sucking at updating lately, everything's going well. Lucy is back in work and showing no soundness issues so far. We had a super ride last night so today I tried a little trail ride. She was great going out, but coming back toward home she was a prancing, fire breathing beast. We had to stop to let a few bikers and hikers go past us and as soon as I got her to halt, she started pawing the ground. She was so naughty at one point that I made her do half pass all the way down the trail until she behaved enough to go straight.

Her Doxy arrived today so she will start that tomorrow. Woohoo!

I had to go to the vet this weekend to pick up a shot to give her on Saturday that will make her go into heat by Wednesday, when the vet is scheduled to come out for the second round of Spring shots and also ultrasound her ovaries again. If everything is truly normal with that right ovary, it will produce follicles. So either we will rule out any repro issues completely, or a spay will be back on the table. Fun times! The shot says on the label "Will cause cramping and sweating." I feel really bad for Lucy; it's going to be like the worst PMS and cramps ever. Poor thing. I asked if I should give her Banamine and they said no, so I got her a big bag of carrots from the local growers as a consolation prize. :(

The weather has changed drastically, going from cold and freezing rain and snow to 80 degrees in about a week. I actually had to pull my bug spray out of storage today! I need to dig out Lucy's fly mask. I am thrilled that the good weather and longer days are here.

This weekend I am heading to a local tack sale to sell some of my extra stuff. I hope I can get rid of a lot of it, both because I don't want to lug it all home, and I'd also love to restock my bank acct after the vet fees I've had this month. Ouchies!

Here's a video from last night - we had a great ride!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

schedule a surgery! oh, wait.

This week has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. I have spent hours on the phone with various vets, vet hospitals, and friends. On Wednesday, I was just so frustrated that I hadn't heard from UC Davis yet  that I called them and said, what's going on? They told me they had no record of any blood from Lucy or from the vet who pulled the blood and said if they found it they'd call me. I thought, ok, what is going on????? We sent the blood by FedEx, not donkey, so there should be some kind of proof that it actually GOT there. Anyway, I called the vet and politely said, please figure this out, and she dealt with UC Davis. It turns out they ran the test LAST WEEK and then lost the results so they were never reported to myself or the vet. Very, very frustrating.

The test showed elevated levels of progesterone and testosterone, and the interpretation said specifically "these levels are indicative of a mare that is either pregnant or that has a granulosa cell tumour". I was like, HALLELUJA...we have a diagnosis.

Also on Wednesday, my normal vet (we'll call them vet #2) came out and did spring shots. She came out before I heard back about the test results, so I was still super stressed. She asked me how things were going and I promptly burst into tears and told her the whole saga. She had a vet student with her and offered to palp Lucy for free as a second opinion for me and an educational opportunity for the vet student. Of course I gratefully accepted her offer. She found the right ovary and it felt pretty normal, she said, but just to be safe she fired up the ultrasound machine and ultrasounded her for me (I love my vet...she is awesome). The right ovary appeared abnormal and seemed to have a thick covering on it of some type. She said, "when you get the blood test results forward them to me and in the mean time I will consult with the other vets at the practice and see what they think" because the ultrasound didn't look like a classic granulosa cell tumour, but it did look abnormal.

Then I got the blood test results back, so I had abnormal blood results and abnormal ultrasound. Vet #1 said to schedule a surgery so I spent the rest of the day looking into vet hospitals.

Later that evening, vet #1 called back and said she had spoken to an endocrinologist at UC Davis and he had expressed a lot of doubt that Lucy's blood hormone levels were high enough to say "yes this is absolutely a tumour". She said she'd hold off on the surgery and repeat the test in another three months to see if the levels have changed. I was so diagnosis was slipping away and there was no hope for my de-witching Lucy.

Then the next morning, without talking to Vet #1, Vet #2 called me and basically expressed the exact same doubts after having a roundtable discussion with the other vets in the practice. They reviewed the blood test results that I had forwarded her, and also looked at the ultrasounds, and they thought the ultrasound looked like a very large corpus luteum on that right ovary.

So the next step is to give Lucy a shot sometime next week to bring her into heat, and then Vet #2 will come out and re-scan her with the ultrasound to see if she's ovulating on that right ovary as she should be. If she is not, then we know something is funky and we will go ahead with the surgery. If she is ovulating then everything is working as it should be and we will treat the lyme disease. I've already ordered the doxy from a compounding pharmacy (molasses're welcome, princess) and I hope that will help some of the body soreness/lameness issues. If not, then we still have THAT to figure out too!


Thursday, April 4, 2013


Congratulations to the five winners of the Absorbine contest! Please email me your snail mail addresses ( so I can get the Stain Remover and Whitener out to you.






YAY, how fun!! Thank you Absorbine!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Contest! Who needs elbow grease when you have Absorbine?

So here it is, the Spring Cleaning Contest!

win me!

I am a huge fan of Absorbine; in fact, yesterday at the barn I surveyed my grooming supplies, fly sprays, and liniments and without meaning to, I had amassed a whole lot of Absorbine products. I like their products because they work, aren't insanely expensive, and best of all I am supporting an American company.

One thing I hadn't used until recently was the Stain Remover and Whitener, which is kind of funny because my heart horse, a grey Connemara (Dreamer, for anyone who remembers the Freedom Farm fiasco of last January) had one mission in life: be any colour other than grey. I sure could have used this stuff when I was riding him! I can remember many early show mornings when I got to the barn after scrubbing him within an inch of his life the night before, and covering as much of his little pony body as I could before going home, only to get there at 5am and find him absolutely covered in stains. Oooooh I would get so mad!

ok, not really *that* mad...I mean, look at his little pony face. SO CUTE.

Outside, he was even worse. His paddock had a bunch of berry bushes in the back corner and he would routinely come in from turnout with purple splotches all over the place.

When I was horse shopping, I decided to limit my horse search to dark coloured horses, and Lucy entered the picture. Dark bay, some white on her legs but not a lot, and I was like, ok I can handle this! She stays pretty clean for the most part but occasionally will get some stains on her white socks. I tested the Stain Remover and Whitener out on her yesterday and it worked so well to get those pesky stains out, without having to give her a full bath.

So I have five 20oz bottles of Absorbine Stain Remover and Whitener to give away, courtesy of Absorbine, and to enter, simply comment on this blog post and tell me a story about when a horse chose a really inopportune time to get dirty, like before a show or when a potential buyer was coming to look at him. If you don't have a good story like that, tell me why you'd love to try the Stain Remover and Whitener. The five winners will be chosen randomly on Thursday 4/4 at 5pm EST.

Good luck!

Monday, April 1, 2013

back at it!

The lyme test came back late last week and I was very disappointed because it was not a strong positive like I wanted. Lyme would have been the easiest fix and I wouldn't have had to keep going with the diagnostics to see why she was lame. I had just assumed lyme was the culprit because I live in a highly tick-infested area and most people just assume that their horse has been exposed to a tick carrying lyme.

We did the Multiplex test through Cornell in upstate New York, and that tells you whether or not there is an infection, and how advanced the infection is. Titres don't always tell the whole story because a horse who has a high titre may not actually have an active infection. Confusing, I know.

For anyone interested, her results were:

OspA Value: 116 (negative)
OspC Value: 1068 (low positive)
OspF Value: 1221 (Equivocal)

Explanation for the above results:

Lyme Dis. Equine - Multiplex The Lyme multiplex assay determines antibodies to three antigens , called 'outer surface proteins (Osp)', of B. burgdorferi which have been shown to correlate with vaccinal antibodies, or acute and chronic stages of Lyme disease.

Negative: Negative values for antibodies to all three Osp antigens are predictive that the horse is not infected. If only one or two values are in the negative range see interpretation for equivocal or positive values for the corresponding Osp antigen.

Equivocal: Equivocal values can indicate very early infection or can be induced by non-specific serum reactions. If there are no positive values for any of the three Osp antigens, the horse should be retested in 2-3 weeks to confirm or exclude early infection. If one or two values are in the positive range see interpretation for positive values for that corresponding Osp antigen.

Positive/ OspA (>2000 - 28,000): Positive values for antibodies to OspA are typically observed in vaccinated animals . In horses, however, antibodies to OspA also seem to rise during infection. Thus, the interpretation of results on antibodies to OspA is more complex in horses . If antibodies to OspC and/or OspF are positive, along with OspA, the horse should be considered as infected with B. burgdorferi.

Positive/OspC (>1000 - 10,000): Positive values for antibodies to OspC only are indicative for early infection. Antibody values to OspA can also be elevated during early infection.

Positive/OspF (>1250 - 26,000): Positive values for antibodies to OspF only are predictive for chronic infection stages. Positive values for antibodies to OspC and OspF in the same sample are indicators for an infection that occurred several weeks ago and is moving towards the chronic infection stage.

In plain English, she has a very weak infection that is fairly new. We will still treat this with Doxy because if left alone, it will develop further into a worse infection that will become chronic, but most likely this is not what is causing her lameness issue. There is a slight chance that it IS the culprit, and given how sensitive Lucy is, I would almost not be surprised.

I am still!!!!! waiting for the test results from UC Davis. I am getting pretty darn annoyed that I've had to wait this long. The vet called on Thursday to ask them what the deal was, and they said "oh we only run that test on Friday and we are closed this Friday because it is Good Friday, so you'll have to wait until next week." Two weeks is a long time to wait for them to just simply run this test, especially since a positive result would be a very, very big deal (spay), and if she needs to be spayed, I want to get it done ASAP so she can recover and get back into work before Summer's over!

Since she had two weeks off, and I was going crazy not riding, and she had been prancing around her paddock looking very very sound, I zipped on my crash vest and got back in the saddle yesterday. During her time off, we had been going for a lot of in-hand walks to keep her moving and I spent a lot of time thanking my rope halter for being so helpful because Lucy was such a freak that she would have run right through her normal halter. At least it got her off the property a bit, and I think that helped a lot when it came time to go back to work. I also gave her a very very small dose of Ace, about a quarter of the "normal" dose, as a safety measure on my part. I am not going to be one of those riders who ace their horse every ride, but I do think in this situation it is a good plan, and I have my vets blessing.

about to mount up; Lucy through her Ace-induced haze says, OMG this
mounting block is DELICIOUS!

We started out in the ring and she felt like a piece of cardboard underneath me. I asked for a trot and she got pissy and felt not lame, but not fluid. Maddy was heading out on a trail ride and asked if I wanted to go. I DID want to go but I was worried Lucy would be a freak. I put on my big girl pants, though, and off we went into the wilderness. Lucy impressed everyone with her bravery and good attitude!! The Ace helped, I think, but it definitely wore off before we got back to the barn so our success wasn't all drug-fueled ;) . As it wore off, she felt brighter, walked more deliberately, and started looking all around her. She had a few small spooks (at nothing, of course) but we encountered a guy riding his bike with his dog, and the dog barked its head off at the horses, and Lucy was like, "meh". We walked up some hills, through a little stream, around the whole field, and past the VERY SCARY COUCH, and she was awesome. We even had a little trot! Lucy led and followed, and handled the following fairly well.

terrible quality cell phone photo, but look! happy ears!

We were out on the trails for at least an hour, if not more, and when we got back to the barn I asked her to trot around again in the ring and she felt 100x better than before the long walking trail ride.

As we were trotting, she felt so good, and we had the following conversation:

"Lucy, would you like to canter?"
"No, not really."
"Ok, maybe another time."
"Actually I changed my mind."


And we went in both directions for a few minutes straight each way, and she had zero (ZERO!) tantrums.


So yeah, I may have overdone it ;) but we'll see where she's at today. Despite all of our success yesterday, I will keep going with the vet just to rule out some weird underlying issue.

When I don't ride, I am miserable. Two whole weeks of no riding is a long time for me and that makes me sad and I get frustrated easily. After riding, I just felt so much better.

"thanks girl, I needed that"

Tomorrow I will be posting a new contest! Here are your hints: Spring cleaning, sparkling white, shows, cheeky horses, grooming, East Longmeadow in Massachusetts.