Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dusk Ride 10/6/15

Shar and I were planning to ride this evening.  Our first evening ride of the season.  Only a few more weeks of being able to start out while there's still some light out and progress into dark instead of tacking up in the dark!  Shar's working in Bend now, and even though I live in Bend, I work in Redmond, closer to her house than where she works.  So I beat her there, and got both Arya and Flash out and tied them to the trailer.  I picked out Arya's feet, and she was a little better about picking them up than the last couple times (after an emergency fill-in farrier bribed her with carrots to hold still, rather than smacking her for stomping her foot down).  I moved over to Flash, and marveled at how tiny his feet are, and how easy they are to deal with, both because they're smaller and lighter, and because he *gasp* actually holds his own feet up for you, so you aren't holding the weight of them.  Moved to the second foot, and Uh Oh!  There was a nail sticking out of his foot.  Ugh.  Snapped a photo for Shar:

I've since learned after the fact that I probably should have left the nail there until she got home, so she'd have the chance to decide whether to take X-rays with the nail in place, in order to see what structures it had hit in the hoof.  Big oops on my part, but I'm not sure whether she would have opted for that.  Ugh.  Plus keeping the nail in there right up until the moment of soaking it probably would have been better for avoiding infection, too.  But in the moment, the first thought I had (after snapping the photo) was to get the nail out.  So I did.  And took another picture, first of the hoof, then of the nail:

Probably a half inch of the nail was in his hoof.  Hopefully not enough to do major damage, but only time will tell at this point, since we lost the chance to x-ray it.

I finished picking his hooves, brushed both horses, and fly sprayed them both.  I was just starting to put Arya's reflective safety gear on for the night ride when Shar got home.  She came out and hadn't seen my messages or photos yet, but I filled her in and she took a look.  Her first inclination was to ride him anyway to get the blood pumping OUT to prevent infection getting IN, but she called and left a voicemail for her/our vet to check on Flash's tetanus status and get her opinion on what she should do.  Her second inclination, after seeing him possibly maybe limping the tiniest bit when she trotted him, was to ride Dalai instead.

The vet called back, and the shots we gave in the spring included tetanus, so that was one worry eliminated, at least, but the vet had some scary news--if the nail had penetrated the area where the coffin bone is, it could be BAD.  No way to know now, since I'd pulled the nail.  Ugh.  But Shar definitely needed to soak the foot for a while with salts, and then bandage it up with some antibiotic stuff to try to keep infection at bay for the next few days.

So I was on my own for a ride.  I mounted up and worked on the standing still concept.  She actually did really great--made one move like she wanted to walk, but I don't think her hooves actually moved.  We stood for a full minute or so.

I knew we wouldn't get too far before dark, and didn't want to ride solo in the dark-dark, but I was hoping to at least make it around the block.  But Arya had other ideas.  She was doing her usual drunken sailor walk away from home, pretending with each tiny correction of the reins that the cue meant she should turn 180 degrees and head back home, indeedy it did.  Yeah right.  So she bounced between the reins and my legs, meandering down the road, getting slower and slower the further we got from home.  I did a couple circles, very lopsided.  Ugh.  Then she started balking so much she was actually BACKING toward home.  Oh no you di-in't.  So we circled a ton.  And we trotted away from home.  And we walked CALMLY toward home, or circled if she started rushing toward home.  Yeah.  A LOT of circles.  And eventually they got more even, and walking toward home got less rushed.  She was never very enthusiastic about heading away from home, but two out of three ain't too bad.  She did get a little obnoxious with head tossing and such, making me a tiny bit concerned about bucking or whatever, but she of course never did, and I'm sure was never actually THAT close to doing so.  Just my paranoid tendencies.  But I didn't give up or get off or let her get away with it, so that's a win at least, right?

We moseyed our way back home, making LOTS of circles, and also heading away from home some of the time, too.  Eventually the circles got more even and circular, and she wasn't as deseperate to get home when we were pointed that way, so I started letting her walk out a while toward home before asking for another circle (instead of the ride being a total series of circles).  We got back to the driveway, and of course she pulled in that direction, but we moseyed past it with a purpose, and I asked her to trot away from home in THAT direction.  Then circles, then walk past the driveway again, then trot away from home again.  Etc. and so on.  We went back and forth past the driveway at least 10 times, maybe more, until she finally was merely gravitating in that direction instead of actively pulling, and it was nearly dark.  I rode her into the arena and circled it once in each direction, then we went around the back side of the barn, around the circular drive, past the trailer full of railroad ties, and back toward Shar.  We stopped, but I didn't get off.  We stood still, we backed up, and we tried doing a little sidepassing.

Then I tied her to the trailer, where she stood very nicely while I helped Shar doctor Flash's foot.  He'd been standing with his food in a bucket of saltwater for a while, and now it was time to bandage it up.  Shar ended up deciding on using one baby diaper (perfect because of the padding and absorption, plus the fact that you can use the built-in fasteners to secure it around the hoof while you work on getting the duct tape or vet wrap ready, instead of having to hold it to the hoof yourself), soaking it with betadine, then using a multi-layer duct tape "hoof boot" to protect the bottom, and wrapping the top part with vet wrap.  It probably wasn't pretty, but it got the job done.  It took me a while to prep the "hoof boot" (multiple strips of duct tape layered on each other in one direction, then multiple strips in the other direction, lather rinse repeat, so you end up with LOTS of layers on the bottom of the hoof, plus the overhang on the four sides to wrap up the sides of the hoof), then Shar got it secured on his hoof, then we both worked to get him set up in a stall for the night with some hay and water.  More to keep the wear on the "hoof boot" minimal than to keep him immobile--a little walking around is probably good for him and his hoof and his legs, but not so good if the bandage comes off or wears through and he gets infected in the puncture wound.

So.  That was a bit of an adventure, but hopefully Flash will be be fine, though he probably gets a few weeks of vacation.  And hopefully Arya learned something over the course of the evening, too, both the riding and the standing around after, and arriving home not being an immediate reward of rolling and eating.  :-)  Shar and Dalai are going out of town this coming weekend, but it sounds like Julie and I will be riding together.  Yay!  I need mine and Arya's solo adventures to be short and sweet still, I think, so it's good to have a buddy to ride with in order to actually have FUN.  :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment