Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Kaswyn's situation

It's taken eight years, thousands of dollars, and many tears, but I've finally faced the facts and accepted this:  

Kaswyn is retired.

I've tried literally everything.  Nothing has worked.  Since I moved Kaswyn to this new barn he hasn't been sound.  I've tried more treatments that didn't work, and now I'm to the point where I just don't want him to hurt.  I'm afraid that he does though, and I want to figure out what I can do to make him more comfortable.  

I have him barefoot, getting trimmed every 4-5 weeks.  He's on Equithrive, a natural anti inflammatory, and he is back to being in standing wraps on his front legs when he's in his stall.  When the weather got warm his front legs swelled up a lot.  This made his left front neurectomy scar extremely painful.  The standing wraps take care of the swelling very well.  The guys who work at the barn are really super about getting the wraps on and off every day, so he may just need to stay in them from now on.  

I know that, regardless of all that I'm doing, Kaswyn isn't quite right.  Another rider at the barn noticed that he was resting his butt against his stall wall in an effort to take weight off of his back legs.  I suspect that the pain in his front leg from the swelling made him put too much weight behind and he has hock or stifle pain.  

Keep in mind that I've been riding him at the walk, for up to 15 minutes, occasionally trotting or cantering to check his soundness.  He has not been in any kind of full work.  After I walk him we do shoulder stretches to keep his shoulder from locking up.  That's been it.  

So he is retired, not even really in light work.  He's just walking only.  But I think he hurts so I might have the vet out and check his back legs.  Something tells me it's back end pain, as a result of front end pain.  I may change his supplement depending on what the vet has to say. 

Regardless, I'm not trying to "fix" him anymore.  I just want to reduce his pain and give him a good life.  Right now with a few hours a day on good grass and the rest of the day napping in his stall, then treats and hugs from me, that's a pretty good life.  I just need to manage his pain.  

I'll update when I call the vet.  I don't know why I haven't called yet. Just a wussy, I guess.  I don't want any bad news. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Plans change

It's been quite a while since I've updated about Kaswyn and Phil.  So lets get this started!

My training with Phil has been terribly inconsistent the last six months.  I attribute this to two things - the cold winter and studying for a test.  

Okay, the winter really wasn't all that bad, but I hate the cold.  It sets off my asthma and if it's 25 degrees or under I really can't breathe well enough to ride.  Also I'm kind of a whiny baby about the cold so if it's really cold I tend to blow it off and just not go out to ride.  

The test I studied for was a certification for work.  I took it in October but I failed it.  I HATE failing at anything, so for six months I studied my butt off, and sometimes studied instead of riding.  I took the test three weeks ago and have been trying to catch up since then.  I should know this coming week if I passed it this time or not.  I sure hope so cause I don't want to have to go through six more months of studying since they only give the test twice a year.  Fingers crossed!

Anyhow, the last three weeks I've been really consistent with riding Phil, and it's been paying off.  Since the weather has been great, the grass pastures are open and he's been getting turnout with Kaswyn for 2 - 3 hours a day.  I think that is really helping by taking some of that nervous energy away, which gives him a chance to concentrate when I ride him.  I'm hoping for a lesson in the next week or two.  

I really feel like he's turned a corner on his training.  I can finally ride him with more authority and less fear that he's going to be a nervous boy.  He seems like he's really getting the idea of being on the bit and moving forward into my hand.  The easier he is to ride, the better my riding is, which makes him easier to ride.  So it's been really good.  

I was going to ride him today, but I dropped an ironing board on my foot.  It's painful and swollen so I decided to stay off of it today and not ride.  It's difficult because of all the success that we've been having lately, but I have to take care of this foot.  Right now I can't even really walk on it, and I'm taking pain meds.  I might even have to take tomorrow off of work, which I don't want to do either.  But I don't have a choice, really.  I know Phil got out today, and will get out tomorrow, so I'm not worried about that.  

Kaswyn's story is more complex, as always.  I'll hit you up with that next time....
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr