A re-cap of week #3—a rough road

For those of you that may have wondered where I have been this last week, here is the whole saga in a nutshell.  On Sunday of last week I was riding x-c.  Monday was a day off for the horses.  On Tuesday I decided to get Gus’s teeth “power floated” by Dorothy’s equine dentist.  He was supposed to hack that day, but he had the day off because of all of the sedatives in his system.  The dentist gave him an IV shot of banamine to ease any discomfort he may have when the sedation wore off.   On Wednesday we went for a really long hack.  His mouth didn’t seem to be giving him any problems at all.  He was well behaved and enjoyed his time out on Jon and Jen’s trails.  On Thursday we were supposed to have a dressage lesson, but when I got to the barn at 7am Gus was not himself.  He was lethargic and didn’t want to eat his grain.  His eyes were dull, and he was not himself at all.  I immediately thought about colic.  The temperature had changed drastically during the night, and I thought maybe it had caused him to be colicy.  His skin felt abnormally hot to the touch, considering the cool temperature of that morning.  I put his halter on, and I decided to try to take him outside for a walk while the girls searched the barn for a thermometer.  As he lifted his head for me to put on the halter, I noticed that his neck was beginning to swell dramatically at the site of the banamine injection from Tuesday.  Everyone was freaking out and running to get bags of ice from the gas station.  We put Gus in the wash stall and started running cold water on his neck.  Michelle got the vet’s number and started calling Dr. Sprecht’s office.  Autumn found her thermometer, and I took his temp.  He had a temp of 102.8 degrees.  Gus usually has a temp of between 98 and 99 degrees.   Chelsea returned with the ice, and we set him up with polo wraps and ice bags around his neck.  The swelling had increased even more by the time we got the ice on him.   Dr. Sprecht was on his way, and told us not to give him any bute until he looked at him.   When he arrived, he was very relieved to see the location of the swelling.  He told me that it could have been way worse if it had been higher up on his neck.  He gave him gentocin and penicillin along with some oral bute.  I was supposed to ice him 20 minutes on /20 minutes off all day long.  He was also supposed to get another gram of bute in the PM.  I iced him from about 10am – 10pm on Thursday.  At about 9pm things were looking good.  The swelling in his neck was almost gone and his eyes were finally “alive” .  His temp was back to 98.3, and he was acting like his old self.  He started shaking his ice packs off of his neck, he was eating like there was no tomorrow, and he was trying to escape when I went in his stall to check on him.  He still had to eat his hay tied up in a hay net for the next 24 hours.  Eating from the hay bag would keep his neck from swelling and would make it more comfortable for him.  I left the barn at about 10:30pm on Thursday night.  On Friday morning Dr. Sprecht was back out to check on him.  His temp was normal, the swelling stayed down throughout the night, and he was acting like the wound-up TB that he is.  Dr. Sprecht was really thrilled with his progress and praised me for my care all day Thursday.  That made me feel really good.  He gave me the OK to do a light hack and told me to continue one gram of bute/day until Sunday.    Today (Saturday) I actually went on a hack and did some dressage.  Though he was very hyper, he listened well.  I called Dr. Sprecht to see if I could take a jumping lesson on Sunday (so that I could get back on my training schedule), and he said that as long as he is ok tomorrow morning I could.  If there was any swelling or regression of the neck area I should call him.  Yippee!

Tomorrow I take a jumping lesson.  Monday I will do dressage (I think),  Tuesday I may do some x-c (which I was supposed to do today), Wednesday I will probably do dressage, Thursday (???) , Friday I will do my dressage test at Ocala HT, Saturday I will do x-c,  and Sunday I will do Stadium.  I am supposed to be doing open Training at Ocala, but with my loss of riding this week, we will see.

So that is how the week at the barn has gone for Team Wetherbrooke.

Getting ready for a new week of training

Our wash rack full of boots
Chelsie hanging out with Gren and Sting in the trailer
Michelle and Pickles warming up for dressage

Monday was a day off for all of the horses.  We spent the day washing splint boots, shipping boots, show brushes, show pitch forks, and other show stuff.  6 horses times 3 phases = a whole lot of crap that needed to get cleaned.  Michelle had cleaned all of Dorothy’s tack on Sunday, so we were one step ahead of the game.  We took a short nap break in the sun (it was 75 degrees—I’m sorry to tell you Ohioans that), and we even had time to go to “Pepe’s” for lunch.  That’s our favorite little Mexican lunch place—on days when we  actually have time to eat.  We fed and were out of the barn by 5pm.  It felt great to only put in a 9 hour day. 

Today was an interesting one.  Michelle was off today, so Chelsie and I were in charge of the barn.  We got to the barn at 7:30 to feed and start our morning chores.  It was supposed to be a day for all of the horses to hack, but the equine dentists messed up our schedule.  Chelsie and Ionly got to hack Pickles and Sting  before the two dentists arrived.  Dorothy’s 4 competition horses, Pickles, and Gus all got their teeth “power floated”.  By that, I mean that there were power tools (dremels etc) involved.   It cost me $190 to have his teeth done, but it supposedly will make a huge difference in how he eats, holds weight, keeps his vertebrae in line, and how he travels.  It seems as though they are making a great deal of assumptions over the importance of teeth, so I am anxious to ride him tomorrow to see if they are right.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a hack/flatwork day, Thursday Dressage, Friday Gymnastics, Saturday and Sunday jumping???   We will see what the rest of the week brings.

I am longing for home today.  I don’t think my schedule is going to permit me to come home at all.  Though I am bummed about that, I am also looking forward to working my way up the eventing ladder once again.