Friday, August 5, 2011

Waiting for the next vet appointment

A whole month of riding Ri, then....
No  riding, no turnout
To my chagrin, Ri is supposed to be on stall rest till the next vet appointment on Tuesday, and maybe longer.   I rejected the vet's instructions from the get-go.

"No way. This horse has spent too much of his life in a stall. I can keep him quiet outside."

The vet didn't respond initially, then later he came over and quietly made his case -- the damage that could be done, etc.

"Okay, okay. Stall rest."

Try to comply
I go to the barn, and there is Riley in his stall. His big sweet face is leaning out the dutch door, big-eyed with anticipation. He is waiting for me to get him out of his stall, as I have every other day I come out, and escort him out to enjoy an evening of grass and cool breezes. But no. I keep walking past him to turn other horses out. He has such an expressive face, and he is trying to get my attention. I can't even look at him.

And fail
I give up. Hell, I don't even have a confirmed diagnosis. I'll have an answer soon enuf. Then I'll comply with the vet's orders.

I turn  Harv and Ri out in the grassiest pasture, which happens to be one that is supposed to be "rested" this month. I break the rule, hoping he'll be too busy eating to run. His head went down and he didn't come up for air till I came and got him an hour later.

After about an hour, I brought them in. Then I grabbed Skippy the donkey, and turned Harv back out for the night with Skip, his new turnout partner "for the duration." As I walked away, Harv looked at me, then the barn. He walked to the edge of the pasture and stood stock-still, looking toward the barn. His face was puzzled and anticipating. He was looking for Riley.

What is it with my horses, insisting on breaking my heart and my resolve!

I almost -- ALMOST -- teared up. Then I remembered Harv and Ri are stalled next to each other all day, and they had just spent an hour together on the best pasture on the property.  It's okay. It'll be okay.

Ri and Harv and I will make it work. :-)


  1. I feel so very sympathetic. And I would do the same. Turnout is so important for all aspects of a horse's health, except maybe this problem. As you said you don't even have a diagnosis yet. I know of one situation personally, you probably more, where the horse really suffered from being kept in. You can reassess when you have a definite diagnosis.

  2. Oh, dear. I am much worried about what's wrong, as I am sure you are too.

    I hated keeping Toby in as he kept calling to his little herd. When Tucker pulled his shoe and had to stay in too, things quieted down. Fortunately the hot weather made going out in the pasture less appealing than standing in the shady stalls with their fans...but still.

    My heart aches for you and your beautiful boy. Hoping for good news.

  3. I agree with you. I hope he does not have to be on stall rest. I think that turnout is a good rule of thumb as long as he does not have paddock mates that make him run or turn excessively. I am sure that Harv would take good care of him.

  4. Hi Jean, a nerve bock seems to indicate upper suspensory; he is just barely off, I had to ride him to make it noticeable enuf to block for. Mid-Atlantic will ultrasound him Tues. to confirm or deny this diagnosis. I turned him out tonight with 1.5 cc ace. He did a bit of languid bucking, and just a tidge of trot and canter, then settled down to eat. If he were more lame I would be more cautious. But until I know for sure, it seems like overkill to confine him to a stall. I really hope he gets out of this without having to do a long stint of stall rest...

  5. I don't thnk you caused any additional harm by the short turn-out. It's really harder on him when he wants to go out.


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