Friday, August 16, 2013


Having a broken horse is really starting to wear on me. The fall weather is beginning to peek through the heat and humidity, and all I want to do is put Lucy back to work. We had the best rides in the early fall and it kills me that she is just standing around doing nothing. Everyone at the barn has been out on the trails and having fun and I just feel sad about the whole thing. I am not sad that they're having fun, of course, but I am sad I can't be out there too!

I actually did get to go on a trail ride last week, on one of the other horses at the barn. I had a great time but wished that I were on Lucy :)

I am not used to chestnut ears pricked in front of me, but this horse was
nothing short of a complete gentleman the entire ride. He is a sweetheart.

I called the vet's office yesterday to ask about another ultrasound appt to check the healing progress in her back. The receptionist looked at the notes from the July 1 visit and said I'd probably be wasting my time and money at this point, because the vet didn't feel she'd be rideable before September or October. I felt very sorry for myself, honestly. If we're already going to be in October, then it will be getting cold fast after that. We all know Lu is not a cold weather horse. I guess I might as well wait until the Spring? Give her an extra six months just to be safe? I don't know.

When I arrived at the barn yesterday after having a sob fest about her state of brokenness, I cleaned Lucy's stall and then went out to her paddock. She usually comes over and says hi, but she stood there awkwardly. Finally she GIMPED over to me. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground. I checked her out and couldn't find anything wrong. No kicks from Brantley, no swelling or heat, no blood. Then I saw she was missing the shoe on her LF. I watched her move in her paddock a bit more and saw she was just ridiculously foot-sore on that left front. Ironically that foot still had the bell boot on it, but the other front foot did not have a bell boot, and DID have a shoe. Weird. At least it's better than a real injury. I hope my farrier can come out in the next day or two!

In other fun news, EHV-1 (Equine Herpes Virus, or Rhinopneumonitis) has been diagnosed in multiple horses at the same farm just 10 miles or so from where Lucy lives. It's a bit of an odd case. Here is a blurb from the email my vet sent out:

"Interesting features: 5 horses on the affected premises, 2 have remained normal, 2 have mild signs and hopefully will recover, 1 euthanized, none of the horses on the affected (index) premises have been vaccinated for years; none of the horses on the affected premises have left the farm for years; neighbor has three horses and are all clinically normal, all are vaccinated against EHV, and one has gone to events, but not since late June; horses from index premises broke fence last week and had fence line contact with neighbor's horses."

I'm not sure if a horse that has been vaccinated can be an a-symptomatic carrier, and one of the vaccinated horses gave the non-vaccinated horses EHV-1?

Lucy gets vaccinated for EHV-1 every year in late Spring. The vaccine is good for six months and my vet assured me that she would be covered through the fall. Still, this is pretty scary. I really appreciate that my vet's office was so proactive getting the word out to us all.


  1. Another 6 months off sounds fab. Make sure she's really good and healed. Scary about the outbreak.

  2. I agree. As much as I sympathize about not being able to ride your own pony - trying to bring her back in the winter probably isn't a great idea for either of you. You definitely don't want her to reinjure her back. Hopefully, another 6 months off would pretty well guarantee she's 100% healed before coming back to work.

  3. So sorry to hear you are down. I think that not being able to work at all this year would certainly be a bummer but if you are worried she hasn't had enough time off it might be worth it to consider how much time you would actually have to ride her before the winter blues hit... and decide if it might be better to wait until the spring. Hope that it all works out and that you can find some fun catch rides in the meantime :)

  4. I am so frustrated for you! Try to focus on the long term though. I know it's hard. Years down the road, this will be but a blip on the radar.

  5. So I haven't been a reader for very long, but can you give me a brief summary of what's wrong with Lucy? I am currently dealing with a mystery back soreness issue with my mare, and I have NO clue where to go from here!

    1. Hi Marissa, here are the entries where I talk about the diagnosis and follow up visits:

  6. I feel your frustration. I too am at my wits end, but have come to the point that I can be thankful that I can still enjoy my mare's company. SIGH. Extensively lame mare's are quite the depressing thing. Hope the EHV outbreak doesn't spread.

  7. That must be frustrating for you! At least if you wait till spring you can be sure shes completely fine.

  8. Long time lurker... If you get to the point where you could afford to support a second horse (as a lease), I know of a bunch of nice, sane horses who would love some work and training.
    So sorry to hear that Lucy's prognosis isn't looking very good for riding this fall. Extra time off almost never hurts, and she's still very young so protecting her future soundness might be worth the extra hang-out time.

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  10. I can't wait to see dark brown ears in front of your camera again. I will say that photo is stunning though. Damn pulled shoes :(


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