I’m feeling a little flat about most things at the moment. Nothing’s terrible but nothing’s that special either. Excuse whiny post.
Drifter had me worried again this week and the next few paragraphs will probably be TMI. In addition to the persistent lameness he had diarrhoea. He’s been a little damp and soft in that area for the previous week or two, but within the range of normal. I rode him on Monday night and was concerned by the massively loud tummy rumbles. I’d never heard him make sounds anything like that, but he was bright and happy in himself. I made sure I saw him poo before I left him and it was a bit damp and soft but it was a horse-poo-shape not a cow pat shape, so I was happy with that. Tuesday we had a day off from each other and when I turned up on Wednesday the staff were delighted to see me. He had been out overnight and when they brought him in the morning they had a field full of un-pickable poo and a horse with a tail consisting entirely of poo dreadlocks. There weren’t any senior members of staff around so they weren’t sure what to do and were very glad I was there to make my own decisions about the horse.
I set to with the tail. People assured me I’d regret it if I just cut it all off, so I tried the hose first, which was useless because the fibre content was matted totally. I had to raise buckets under his behind so that I could swish the tail in the bucket to try to loosen the matting and get some of the fibres loose, and then try to comb some out. 6 buckets of water later we tried the hose again and then I declared it good enough.
Having had time to fully appreciate the state he was in, I called the vet. He was not able to come the next day so he arranged to come the day after, Friday. I asked him to do the next lameness check on that day as well if possible.
Then I needed to exercise Drifter. Turnout for that night was cancelled due to weather warnings but the vet and I agree he must not be allowed to stand and get lamer so we needed to do something. As Drifter still seemed happy in himself (although frustrated by having his tail washed for so long) I tacked up and hopped on.
He was forward and content under saddle (within current limitations, i.e. happy in walk and tiny bursts of trot on straight lines) for about 20 minutes. I declared cool-down-and-relax time and gave him the reins. After half a lap he started pooing. This was the first I’d witnessed personally of what was coming out of him. It was pale green, watery, and came straight out, spraying straight through his lifted tail parallel with the ground. No wonder the fibres were all getting filtered out by his tail. I didn’t have much time to “admire” it though because as soon as it finished he ran off with me. Oops. Clearly it was painful and he was running away from the pain. He had the full length of the reins so I couldn’t pull him up until I’d sorted out my knitting, and the pain (being inside him) was hard to run away from.
It was lucky for me he’s lame, so the most he could manage in the way of bolting was a fast trot. The vet had permitted us to trot around curves only from the day before, so I knew on a left rein trot curve he found it pretty uncomfortable, but we were on the left rein and he had to get round the corners as we came to the fence of the school, so he added some tiny bucks because everything hurt and ignored my suggestions about stopping. Eventually he stopped and I hopped off but by now he seemed fine again and was keen to go and eat anything he could find. Horses, huh?!
Of course I worried about him overnight, but from that point he started recovering. By the time the vet came on Friday he was producing proper manure-apples again and by yesterday (Saturday) they weren’t even particularly wet. The vet tested for blood/albumen in the faeces and the results were normal. He suggested we could go with a probiotic or leave it a few days and see if it sorts itself out. I chose waiting.
What about the lameness? Not so good news. Drifter hadn’t made the progress he’d expected and there was swelling in the coffin joint (previously it was in the fetlock). In terms of gait Drifter had started overreaching and (vet’s words) slapping his feet down hard. It wasn’t clear whether the swelling was caused by the gait or the gait was caused by the swelling. He was being shod that day, so the farrier changed the angles of his feet a little to adjust the gait and the vet is seeing him again on Tuesday to see whether that fixes it. If it’s still swollen on Tuesday he will medicate the joint. In good news he mentioned that the weight Drifter’s lost lately is a positive thing. I hadn’t really noticed the difference, seeing him all the time, but had been aiming for weight loss so that was pleasing.
I like our vet. He is a nice man and good at his job. But we don’t want to see him this often!
It has been too long now since I was able to have a riding lesson. I miss that more than I miss trotting for more than a few meters at a time. I miss being about to think about doing anything vaguely fun with him under saddle or being able to lunge him. Between my health and his it’s been a long time since we could try anything challenging together.
I’ve slightly lost my mojo on the clicker training front too. Since the school term started the yard is busier in the evenings, so there’s less likelihood of a free school or a quiet corner, and I need to come up with some new ideas for us to play with, so we’ve done less with it.
Work is ticking along OK, but this month is a little flat. Last month was my first month brandishing a University credit card to buy sheet music and rare books online. The orders were flooding in and I was riding the learning curve and the excitement of the new. This month the novelty has worn off and I need to get the balance of how it fits in with the rest of my job. It’s still fun but not so much as it was.
The article I wrote seems to have fallen into a black hole. The journal has changed from green open access to gold which I think is probably delaying the issue and I’ve even gone a bit flat on the crochet front. I’m writing a (somewhat odd) pattern for a particular Ravelry group’s event (it’s a crochet pattern for a human cell) and it’s just come back from the kind volunteer pattern tester who’s highlighted mistakes I’m annoyed that I didn’t pick up myself and don’t feel motivated to fix although I know I must. The cardigan I’m making is going to end up too big, the shawl is too fiddly and as you see I have just temporarily misplaced my mojo. I’m sure it will turn up, but if you happen to come across it please do return it, marked for my attention.