Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wrap It Up, Part 2

Part 1

I certainly had a unique leg wrapping issue on my hands. How was I going to solve this? I searched a few online tack stores, but I wasn't happy with the pastern wraps that they had. I was concerned that they would slide around, or get too tight, or just not work out somehow. No, I needed a variation on what I know would work - a quick standing wrap, and a separate pastern wrap.

I checked out Schneider's, since it's close to the barn, and they had these little numbers -

Dura-Tech Rapid-Wrap No Bow Bandages. Here's the link -

They're bascially a no-bow wrap and a standing bandage all in one piece. At $29 I didn't think I could go wrong. I got the longest ones, the 16" so that I could be sure that they would go down far enough over the pastern.

And they worked GREAT. The inside of the wrap is very soft, thick cotton, and the outside is canvas that shavings won't stick to. All of the Velcro straps have elastic on them, so they can be put on nice and snug and they don't slide around. And it's super easy to do, so anyone can put them back on in less than a minute. Part One of my problem solved!

Now to simplify and improve the pastern wrapping issue. For the first few days I used narrow strips cut from thick heavy cotton bandage material as my pastern wrap. This worked well, but it got dirty and full of shavings very quickly. So I started to think - what if I covered the cotton strip with fabric and put velcro on it? That way it wouldn't get shavings stuck to it, and I could take it home and wash it.

This is what I came up with -

I took a strip of cotton batting -

and covered it in heavy duty cotton, and sewed seams through it so the cotton would stay in place, and it would bend around the leg without bunching up. Then I added velcro on it like a polo wrap would have for easy fastening.

Then I wrapped it just around the pastern like this -

and then put the Dura-Tech Rapid-Wrap No Bow Bandage on top of it, making sure it was snug enough to keep the pastern wrap in place.

Believe it or not, it worked very well. So well, in fact, that I made another pastern wrap and bought another set of the standing wraps so I can always have a clean pair. It keeps the swelling out of that pastern, but it's gentle enough not to bind tightly. Now it's easy to wrap Kaswyn every time he goes out or gets worked. Just wrap the pastern, then wrap the whole leg. The other leg doesn't have a pastern wrap, but thankfully the standing wrap stays in place just fine.

After a week in the wraps, Kaswyn's pastern was virtually free of inflammation. Even the scar, which was hard, ugly, and raised, got smaller, softer, and stopped getting crusty. I can't explain why this happened; all I know is that the wrapping has made an improvement, so I'm going to keep it up.

I think this looks great compared to what is was -

If Kaswyn's happy, then I'm happy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

So much for wisdom

For years, dentists have been telling me to get my wisdom teeth pulled out. I kept saying that they didn't bother me, they were poking up through the gums and looked like regular teeth, so why should I bother?

Well, they weren't poking up through the gums enough, and the part of the tooth still covered by gums got some decay on it. In one tooth. Now, keep in mind that I've never had a cavity in a permanant tooth before, and I'm not very good with dental work to begin with. So when the dentist said "Look, we can fill it but it's just a losing battle. Once you start filling them, you tend to keep having to fill them. Best just to take them out." Fine, then lets do all four at once and get it over with. Easy peasy.

Now, I'm 44. If I were 18 this would be no big deal. But the oral surgeon said that this would be painful, there would be swelling, and my recovery would take a week. Codswallop, I said. No way would it take a week. This is where I was wrong, people.

I now present to you, my wisdom tooth experience. In pictures.

Here I am, Friday morning, very nervous, on the way to the oral surgeon. Thanks to the Ativan they gave me to take two hours before, I actually made it to the office without a complete anxiety attack.

They let me breathe some laughing gas, and the IV was in before I knew it. Then they pumped me full of Versed so I didn't care that they were poking my mouth full of needles. Then they pulled my teeth out. I was awake, but I didn't really care that I could feel them doing stuff. It didn't hurt, but I would feel them digging around in there. I didn't scream or nothin'. Versed makes me a great patient. :)

Here I am immediately after I woke up. Thumbs up, baby!

Then, on the way home. Don't I look GREAT?

Here I am with ice packs, trying to minimize the swelling (not very successfully...)

And here is the swelling and bruising.

Lastly, here are the teeth. The one on the left was a real bugger, and they had to bust it up into three pieces to get it out. That side of my mouth is the most swollen and hurty.

Needless to say I'm still recovering. I'm having issues with the antibiotics and pain meds like I always do, so I get to choose if I would rather be in pain or if I would rather poop my pants and feel like I'm gonna puke. It's kind of a toss up at times. Right now I'm opting for the pain, but I think I'll chance to pants pooping in a few hours.

How was your weekend? :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

In the meantime....

I'm in the process of writing a show recap, and filling you all in on what my last three days have been like. (hint: not very pleasant!!).

But in the meantime, check out these photos I found from Sport Horse Nationals in 2009...

This is Albert (Tariq El Kaiyoum) and I. Isn't he adorable?

And this is my trainer on Wildfire Skyy and me on Albert with our Top 5 ribbons. I love this picture. :)

Ok, for real. Updates coming!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Transferring, converting, uploading...

I'm working on the videos from the show. In the meantime...

Did you guys enjoy the blow by blow updates from the show on Facebook? I hope it was just like being there. Without the bugs, sweat, and hay down your bra.

Videos and commentary will be up as soon as I can get it done.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Early, but still dark out

I'm just about to leave for another schooling show with Kaswyn and Phil. I'm going to try and post updates to Facebook again. Hopefully I'll have better reception at this show!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


For those of you who don't read comments on blogs, here is the slightly sour comment that I received on my last post -

"Anonymous said...

Let me see if I understand..

Your senior horse, who worked his tail off for you, is sore, is hurting, is uncomfortable..

and you still had someone riding and showing him?

Please justify for me (and everyone else) why this is "ok", especially in a world where FEI disqualifies a horse/rider because the horse had a small abrasion..."

A few points for you, Anonymous -

#1 - My vet told me not to stop working this horse, even if he seems a little sore. He has arthritis in his left rear fetlock, and most likely other areas. For him to just stand around is a bad thing. I asked him if I should just walk him, but he said that letting him get out of condition would not be a good thing either. His recommendation was to reduce his workload, and bute him when he gets sore, which he said may become more common. After all, humans have daily aches and pains as they age, but it doesn't mean we want to stop doing what we love. And this horse loves to work. I never ever push him if he feels off.

#2 - I appreciate the fact that you feel sympathy for Kaswyn, and you feel like you need to stand up and defend him. However, you don't know me, you don't know him, and you don't know our relationship. I've had him for 18 years and I know him very well. I'm doing what I feel is right for him, which is light work 3 times a week and turnout the other days. That's hardly a grueling training schedule.

#3 - If you have bothered to look at the other posts and videos on my blog, you'll see that Kaswyn has been showing Introductory and Training Levels AT SCHOOLING SHOWS. Kaswyn is not showing FEI anymore. He's not asked to collect, or bear unnecessary weight behind, or to do strenuous work. Please have a look at this video, and tell me: do you really think that he looks sore, is hurting, or is uncomfortable?

Ears are forward (not pinned), plenty of energy (not acting like he doesn't want to go), tail relaxed (not swishing except at flies, not wringing). The judge didn't ring him out, so she didn't think he looked lame or sore. In fact they got a 63%. Pretty good if you ask me.

#4 - You certainly have a right to your opinion. I respect that. What I don't respect is posting a comment anonymously that criticizes anyone. It's a cowardly act. Next time I hope you have the courage to sign your name and stand up for what you believe in. Like I just did.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Wrap It Up, Part 1

This summer has been crazy. I have three or four half-written posts, and one typed in as a note on my phone. It's been super crazy, with almost every night and evening booked up with some activity, either for me or for Craig and the girls. Add that to the fact that work has been too busy for me to bang out a post, and it means that I don't post much.

So, recently I've been having problems with Kaswyn's surgery site. The last surgery was Thanksgiving of 2010, and was a new procedure to eliminate the neuromas that he got from his neurectomy. It was done on both sides on the back of his left front pastern, with the outside (left side) healing fine, but the inside ended up splitting open into a nasty wound before it got a chance to heal. The scar, once it finally healed, always bothered Kaswyn if I touched it, and always seemed to get this crusty stuff on it. It looked like it never really healed. An equine massotherapist looked at it and suggested I rub lavender oil on it to soothe it. I've been doing that for over a year and it never seemed to get any better.

Over the past few months it seemed that Kaswyn had been carrying some fluid in that pastern, making it hypersensitive and painful. For the first few weeks I tried some bute, thinking that he just tweaked it, and the bute made him better. But he got worse again off the bute. I figured then that it was probably the heat that was making him swell in that area, so I started icing it after I worked him. That seemed a little counterproductive, so I started wrapping him in standing wraps.

Here is the deal with this pastern. It can't have tight pressure on it, like a stretchy polo wrap or vetwrap. I did that once and later that evening the barn called me and said he was acting like he was colicy. One gal said she thought the wrap might be bugging him, so they took it off, and by the time I got there he was much happier. I just think that area is very sensitive, so tight pressure or inflammation makes it painful.

But regular standing wraps pose two problems. First, only experienced people should apply them, which unfortunately knocks Debbie out of it. And sometimes she rides him when I'm not there, so she would need to re-wrap him. Second, for the wraps to really be effective the pastern needs to be wrapped and supported, and that doesn't usually happen with standing wraps.

When he was recovering from his surgery, the way they wrapped him was with a cotton wrap on just the cannon bone, then no cotton on the fetlock, then another narrow strip of cotton around the pastern so that it would make the pastern as fat as the fetlock. This allowed a standing wrap to be applied to the whole leg, and the pastern to get the support it needed without the wrap slipping up.

This is what I needed to work out - gentle, soft, evenly distributed pastern support that could be applied easily by anybody. This last point is important because I can't make it to the barn every day. Two days a week he gets turnout and I don't make it out there at all, which means the wraps must come off for turnout, but I'm not there to put them back on. Add this to the fact that the cotton I used as the pastern wrap got dirty easily, and shavings stuck to it like crazy, made it obvious that I needed a better solution.

I was seriously stressing about this for days. How could I solve this?

To be continued...
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr