Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kaswyn, Master of The Unexpected

Kaswyn’s not doing so well right now.

He started out a few months ago feeling a bit off. Since he was on "light duty" I decided just to take is easy on him and mostly walk and maybe trot a little. He’s been getting steadily worse since then, despite some time off and a course of bute. He started slightly head bobbing at the walk, and definitely head bobbing at the trot. I suspected his hocks needed injecting plus a resurgence of the left front foot issue that has plagued us for many years. 

Dr. B came out to take a look at him. To my surprise he started his exam at Kaswyn's knees. He palpated his knees, finding fluid there. Then he felt his back legs and found thickening of both suspensory ligaments. The flexion tests were pretty positive for lameness, 2 out of 5 for all legs involved. Surprisingly he was Churchill negative (which is usually indicative of hock pain). 

After the x-rays and a long discussion with Dr. B, what it comes down to is this: Kaswyn has chronic arthritis in both front knees and chronic desmitis in both hind suspensories. He is now in total retirement, no riding even at the walk for now. According to Dr. B it's nothing that I've done in the past year or so. It's just old age, and possibly a genetic predisposition to have these conditions. 

We have begun a course of bute, which we will reduce slowly until we find a dose that is the lowest amount of bute that keeps him sound at the walk. From there we will replace some of the bute with aspirin, or Previcox, or both, until we have a combination of meds that is as low a dose of bute as possible and still keep Kaswyn comfortable. Kaswyn is also on isoxsuprine, and Equithrive. I tried to take him off of the Equithrive and put him on another supplement, but he got worse, so we're back to the Equithrive. After five days I could already see from the look in his eyes that he feels better. We have a lot of fiddling to do with his meds, but we'll get there. 

I am quite sad about this whole thing. I really thought I still had years of hacking him around, or even trail riding. I'm not sure if we'll be able to do that anymore. But I owe that horse everything. He taught me so much, was there for me through all my fumbling to learn dressage, and always tried his little heart out. He has always been an extraordinarily smart, selfless partner. The very least I can do is keep him comfortable and happy for as long as possible. 

Just before Dr. B left I said "Knees and suspensories. I certainly didn't expect that." Dr. B said "Neither did I. He just had to be different." 

That's Kaswyn. Never boring. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Things sure have changed

I've had this blog for many years, and over those years I've often gotten this question:

How do you do it all? Family, work and riding?

The fact is, right now, I’m not getting everything done that I want to. One of those things is this blog.

When my girls were younger, it was easier. They went where we went, did what we did, and went to bed early. Now they are older and have their own interests. What used to be an afternoon of picking the girls up at daycare, eating dinner, and going to bed, is now a mad rush to leave work, pick them up, get homework done, dinner eaten, and then a dash out to get them to their activities, then showers and bed.

Something had to suffer, and it was writing my blog. I used to be able to shoot off a quick blog post at night, but by the end of the day now I’m too tired to write. So instead of writing I try and spend some time with Craig before I need to get in bed myself.

Other things have suffered a lot too. Like my house. First, my tack is cleaner than my house. For a while I was driving myself mad trying to keep the house clean. I’d stress about all the toys on the floor, and the state of the girl’s rooms. I’d look outside at all the weeds and overgrown bushes and fret about it.

It’s taken me some time, but I've finally just given in to the fact that these things don’t really matter. My girls are 9 and 10 years old right now. In a few short years their toys will be replaced with phones and computers. They won’t want to be at home, with their mom and dad. They’ll want to be out with friends.

So I've been trying very hard not to let the mess bother me. Sure, sometimes I go on a manic cleaning binge, but for the most part if I can walk a path through the room I’m ok.

I've been trying to spend some more time with the girls. I know I don’t do that as much as I’d like to, since I have a full-time job that also requires me to work one or two weekends a month. But we try and play games together. I know that being a stay-at-home mom is not an easy job, but when summer rolls around and I know that a bunch of moms on my street have their kids all summer, I get jealous. They go to the pool all day, or to the lake, or where ever. I know that it’s not all fun and games, and that there’d be times that I’d want to tear my hair out, but I’ll never have that.

Yes, I’m still riding, just not 5 or 6 days a week like I used to. Now it’s 3 or 4, which is really ok. I need to spend this time with my kids now, because I’ll never get this time with them back.

I do have updates on Phil and Kaswyn. I'll get those posted when I can! 

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr