There really isn’t any excuse as to why I haven’t posted anything, but alas, I have not haha. I noticed through this that while I’m home, I tend not to visit social media a lot. No FB, no Insta, no blogging…. So I’m trying to change that a little with this post haha. I’m enjoying being unplugged from most social media lol. I still follow, but it’s definitely been less. The no blogging has mostly been because there’s not really a lot for me to write about, but a few (very) good things have happened recently amidst all this and it’s a huge relief.
I am extremely lucky in that short of not going to work every day, nothing has really changed for me. I am a very typical extroverted introvert, so while I do miss the occasional brunch outing with a friend, I have found it to be extremely relieving to slow down, spend time doing things I couldn’t before, and let myself be quiet.
I still care for the horses every day. I know that this could be a bit controversial, especially since my parents are in the older age-range for the virus, but since I always take care of the ponies and burro, I never stopped helping my mom care for them. I am there every day, whether just hanging out with my parents or doing chores. For me, with my mom being in that older age-range, I didn’t want her to get too run-down being the only caregiver and then be even more susceptible to getting sick if the extra work, hay dust (we’re both allergic to it), etc lowered her immune system.
With our barn being just us, there really was no change in that respect. Amber is loving all the extra time I’m getting to spend with her, and we’ve been working her fitness back up slowly. We look a little janky at the moment – her dressage saddle is again a little too wide for her since her loss of muscle tone, so we have on all our dressage gear and a 5-point breastplate lol. Amber is much happier with the set-up, and we go back and forth between dressage and western, and I keep our riding objectives the same across both disciplines.
Just the other day we had a vet appointment to x-ray Amber’s left hind, and it’s still looking good! She’s not grown as much sole this time, and her toe is a little long, but I think that’s a battle that will always be there, so I’m pretty stoked with the news that her foot is doing just fine even after 6 months of not checking on it. Her knee and stifle are still doing well, especially as the weather warms her arthritis feels better. So we’re going to keep riding! I’ve taken to riding in a pair of really slick yoga pants to help my strength too haha. Her trot is not bouncy, and she’s much happier at a slower trot pace than what I had her at before, so the slippery yoga pants have been great helping me get muscle and balance back lol.
As for Whisper, for probably the past year and a half we’ve been battling some soundness issues. It appeared in her front feet, and mostly her left front. The biggest setback was how hard it was to really get a read on just what was wrong with her. For the 16 years we’ve owned her she’s been the picture of soundness, and only needed her hocks injected two years ago. So it was very odd that she was having this mystery lameness. Radiographs only told us there was a teensy bit of swelling in her navicular bone, but other than that she never matched any other positive navicular signs. Plus, Whisper is not stoic whatsoever, so she definitely tells you when there is the slightest thing wrong. For a while we toyed with the idea of driving down to California to have an MRI done on her left front since her symptoms were similar to a tear.
Before that though, we decided one last option: consult another vet Dr. P, one who specializes in equine podiatry. I just really need to give a huge, huge, huge shout-out to these guys on here, because it really became this network of people working together to figure out what was wrong with Whisper. Dr. W, our vet here, would work with our farrier, send all the x-rays to Dr. P, who would then consult with both W and our farrier. It helped that W already knew P, and it has been a good 5 shoeings of collaboration between these three and my mom. W would x-ray and take molds of Whisp’s feet, send those to P, who would then handcraft shoes for Whisper and send them back to us with the molds, then consult with our farrier on how they needed to go on her foot based on the x-rays and molds. Rinse, repeat for 5 farrier appointments lol. It was extensive. But, we finally figured out that Whisper has contracted heels, which explained practically all of her symptoms. Once we got the angle of her wedge right, it’s been home free, and this last shoeing just the other day looks so positive. She’s walking so wonderfully on her front legs now, so that is a huge, huge, huge relief for me and my mom. Whisp is just the sweetest, and she’s been a champ through it all.
Well, we were well on the way of getting her sound when she came up lame on her left hind leg. And that just made our hearts sink. But thankfully, such a simple solution. The same vet appointment for Amber’s x-ray the other day was to flex test Whisper, and she’s merely hock sore. So we stuck her on Equioxx, and while she’s looking better, after a week we’re thinking we may need to inject her hocks. Which, after all the crazy with her front feet, we’re ecstatic that’s all she’ll need. Pretty soon my mom should be able to get back to riding her main girl, and both her and Whisper look much happier now that Whisp is feeling better. We’ve still got a week or two on the Equioxx before making a final decision, but Whisper is 18 this year, and if hock injections are all she needs now that we’ve figured out her front feet? I’ll take it lol.
Choco is living her best life. She’s ecstatic to have way more snuggles and adventure time with me at my apartment. She gets very upset with me if she doesn’t get to lay in my lap at least twice a day for a few hours each time haha. Her little snores are the best, and it’s been really great to spend all this time with her. Dogs are certainly living their best lives!