Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Two hands

On one hand, not much has been going on.

It's been so freezing cold that I've not been working either Kaswyn or Albert. Kaswyn has just not been up to working, and Albert has so much hair that I'm very afraid to get him a little sweaty. That would not be good in these arctic temperatures. So both boys have been getting turned out, either in the arena or outside (both with nice warm blankets). I'm sure they will not be happy when this little vacation in the snow comes to an end.

On the other hand, there is plenty going on.

I had an appointment scheduled with a chiropractor for Kaswyn on Saturday. She said she was going to bring a friend with her, since it would be about an hour and a half drive. She was supposed to be there at 11. Lily had an acting class (yes, I'm serious!) at 2:00, and we had friends coming over to party at 4:00. She called at 8:30 and said her car would not start, and that the battery was dead. We'd have to reschedule.

I told her I really didn't want to do that, since I had waited weeks to get someone to come out. She said she could get the battery replaced and be there at 12:00. She called back a bit later, and I missed the call because I was upstairs cleaning. She left a voicemail that said it wasn't her battery and she wasn't going to come out. She could come out next Saturday.

Now, I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it. If she had really wanted to come, why not ask her friend to drive her? If this had been her Monday - Friday, 9 - 5 job, would she have been able to make it? Maybe I've just been screwed over one time too many by people not doing what they say they will do, but I think if she wanted to she would have been there. I didn't call back, and I'm not going to. I can't do this weekend anyway since I have to work, and well, I'm a little annoyed. It's too bad because if she'd have been good at her job I could have recommended her to some other people. No way that's happening now.

I found another equine chiropractor who is actually a veterinarian, and she has been used by my friend Z. She is coming out next Monday. She is also much closer, and I hope more reliable. We shall see.

As far as Kaswyn goes, he looks terrible. He just keeps getting skinnier and skinnier, and I have been begging them to feed him more. They say they have been, and Marge was even getting concerned because she says he is eating what they give him. I thought that a few weeks of just hanging around and eating while I recover would pork him up, but if anything he looks worse. When I pulled his blanket on Friday I was stunned. He was sucked up in the belly, hip bones sticking out, and I could count six ribs with him just standing still in the cross ties. I felt simply awful. No wonder the horse didn't want to work when I rode him. He was skinny. He didn't look like my handsome man.

So I called Dr. B. We had a nice conversation about Kaswyn and I told him all of my concerns, which were his back end not looking good, him being skinny, not really wanting to work, and his back feeling like there may be a bone out of place. He addressed all of these concerns, starting with him being skinny. I have Kaswyn on the Progressive diet balancer, grass formula. He is also getting the Envision fat supplement. He was on that same feed when he moved to Marge's, but shortly after he got there he had that huge outbreak of hives, so I bought hay from the old barn, and a big load from the same supplier so his food didn't change. He dropped a little weight, which I attributed to loss of muscle while the hive issue resolved, but seemed to be holding his own.

I ran out of the hay in September, but I didn't think anything of it. He's been losing weight since which I thought might be because he was outside running around all day. When it got closer to winter there was also less grass to eat, and I thought that Albert and the other horse, Tao, were chasing Kaswyn away from the hay that was thrown down for them every day.

Dr. B said that horses with high energy requirements don't seem to do as well on the diet balancers. Hard working, hot blooded horses like racehorses and working arabians don't work well and just generally look like crap unless they get more protein. The grass hay is low in protein, and it's great roughage but working horses need more than just the grass hay and diet balancers. He wants Kaswyn to get one third of a 5 gallon bucket of alfalfa cubes twice a day and see if that helps with his energy level. He didn't think that I'd see his ribs fill in right away, but he said I should weight tape him once a week and see how it goes.

Now, hearing him say "add alfalfa" makes sense, since the hay from the other barn had quite a bit of alfalfa in it, while Marge's hay has none. Her hay is nice, but it's just a grass mixture. Since September he's had no alfalfa (except when he had the tooth issue, when he got soaked cubes cause he couldn't eat hay), and so has lost weight.

I asked about his back end not looking good, since we just injected the hocks. Dr. B said that it takes a lot of energy to move the hind end, especially for dressage, and he feels that Kaswyn just doesn't have the energy stores needed to push like he needs to. Add to that a few weeks off and he thinks he's just stiff in those joints. He thinks ten days of supplemented alfalfa will bring his energy up and he should look and feel much better.

I asked about Kaswyn's back, and he said he might have something out of whack, but he thinks that if it were enough that I could feel it that Kaswyn would have a hard time even walking or standing. He said that it could very well be a muscle spasm or knot in his back, and that a chiropractor or massotherapist could certainly help, but he doesn't think Kaswyn has a pinched nerve in his back.

So the plan is to get him working, feed him alfalfa cubes, and call Dr. B with a report in ten days. If his back end doesn't look better he will come back out and take a look. I will get out there today and check out the boy, who I ahven't been able to see since Friday. They started him on the cubes Sunday, so hopefully he'll be a little peppier. Even if it's cold I'm going to get him on the lunge line for ten minutes to get those hocks moving. I'll not ask a lot, just move him around a bit. When it gets warmer I'm getting on. I can't wait!

I'm also in search of a product that we used to feed in California. It was called All-In-One and we used to free-feed it to horses who needed weight. As in, we'd buy a large plastic garbage can and bungee it to the corner of the stall, then fill it with All-In-One. It's basically chapped alfalfa with molasses, and my friend Cheryl always said that it looked like smooshed horse poop to her. But it's awesome stuff and I hope I can find some, or someting similar, cause that's the way to go to put weight on horses.

As far as me, I'm not doing so well. The flood of blood has returned. Dr. OB says it could mean that the ablation didn't work, but that I should wait three months. If I have three periods then it certainly didn't work and I could have it repeated using a different method. Which I could do at the same time as my possible repeated hemorrhoid surgery. I'll write about that whole mess later. I just don't have the patience for that right now. I'm too angry about it, and really fed up.

Fortunately for right now my butt is healed and I'm getting on a horse soon. Come on winter, go away!


Horseypants said...

Sounds like you're on the right track w/ the alfalfa. Hope Kaswyn starts to get fatter! Sorry to hear about you though...that is totally frustrating.

Anonymous said...

I've had to put Pman back on alfalfa once a day as well (per Paul and Marcy's suggestion). He has been losing weight on grass hay and I've doubled his Nutrena Senior. I think the Kasenova horses are not easy keepers.

As for you, I'm sure you are beyond frustrated. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I hope things go better for you. Just get rid of the thing would be my vote. If your done with the kid thing, then why have it? Seriously, my sister just had it removed and she's now a happy camper (had polyp issues that kept returning even after several ablations).

As far as The Weinner. I switched Hen to a sweet/steamed rolled oats combo and he's now a fat boy. He went from almost 12 pounds a day when he was in training to 4 pounds a day now. Even in the summer when he was very fit (eventing) he was only getting 4 pounds and as much hay as he wanted. I hope you can figure out what will make him chubby again. I'm glad you are having K come out and were able to get ahold of her. I think you'll really like her. She's a stich and a half! Very funny and a cool lady with some awesome stories. If you need the name of an awesome masso therapist (for you and/or) Weinner, let me know. Mine does a great job on me and is very good with the ponies as well.

See you Saturday!

Katee said...

The awful, painful surgeries might not have worked?! No way! You might have to do it all over again? They have got to be kidding. Keep us posted and I hope everything comes up roses and you stay out from under that knife!

Poor, skinny Kaswyn. I hope that you're able to get his weight and energy back up. How old is he?

dressagemom said...

Thanks everyone. I hate to whine but... damn! I just want to be healthy again.

Kaswyn will be 18 in April. really that's not old for an arab, and he should be in much better shape than he is now. I feel like I've let him down.

Rising Rainbow said...

We have the product you are talking about here. I get the one that has chopped oat grass added as well. As a matter of fact I'm just ordering some for my yearlings.

Geez, I was hoping you were having better luck with your surgeries than me. What is it with that??

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