I thought that after all my doom and gloom I ought to update a little. Dhorse finished 16 days worth of outrageously expensive antibiotics plus his 4th (I think) tub of Sputulosyn and seems to be ok so far. We've had 5 gentle hacks of about 45 minutes to an hour at a steady walk and he hasn't yet coughed....... I'm absolutely paranoid though, he's got a slightly runny nose and I'm watching it nervously!
The horse flies are appalling, even when I'm riding early so it's been a bit of a torture bumbling along being attached by swarms of the blighters, but hopefully we'll get trotting in the next month without incident!
I went to the Three Counties Show last Saturday and came across the most enormous horses - they were "Canadian Belgians" being driven by someone called David Mouland and they were 19.2hh - I kid you not! Beautiful sorrel colour with blonde mane and tail, they were stunning (as was the horse box they came in too - it was massive). It was a great day out with some absolutely gorgeous animals on show.
I hope this is the right place to make a note of my first riding lesson today!
I had a little panic attack hesitation upon mounting but once I was on I was fine. I had an excellent instructor who took great care to explain correct posture and how to keep a good seat whilst walking. Eventually she let go of the lead and I walked the horse around the school, doing some simple diagonals.
I've been on horses before but I feel like today was the first time I actually rode. Such a great time! When I got off I gave the horse a hug and a kiss for being so lovely and chilled out, which was probably very dorky but I don't care.
The bad news is that they don't offer group lessons or semi-private sessions for absolute beginners, which makes sense. So I will need to look at the budget and see whether I can afford private lessons for a time.
Just picked up the antibiotics and nearly fainted when the receptionist said that's £329 (500ml)...... Fortunately head vet was there and said that wasn't right, but even so it was a 1/3rd of that. I'm guarding it with my life - it has to be given orally so I have to syringe it down which is going to be interesting. It had better turn him into Champion the Wonder Horse at that price.
No need to be sorry, it's a good question! We're mostly orchards and wheat but immediately next to him is just plain grass with sheep so no obvious triggers. Whilst doing the ironing just now I totted up a rough estimate of his vet bills in the last three years, not including the usual vaccinations and teeth and it comes to the eye watering sum of about £7k (thank god for insurance) which is way more than I paid for him.
I suspect it won't be worth insuring him next year as the premium will have yet more exclusions and be pretty hefty, to be fair I can't blame them!
Long shot I know but you haven't got any rape on your farm have you? We had a pony years ago who always coughed (no discharge) when ridden near rape when it was in flower and I've heard it can be bad for asthmatics too. The pony originally had a lung infection (was scoped by vet, vaguely remember ventapulmin and antibiotics) and was ok after but some things always set him off, (rape and frosty air being two).
This is driving me nuts..... After his diagnosis of a deep seated bacterial infection Dhorse has just finished a 10 day course of Trimed (something or other), and his 3rd pot of Sputulosin and under vets instructions I was advised to start him back into work (after 6 weeks of coughing). I hadn't heard him coughing for a good 5 days prior to that.
So, walked him in hand Sunday with no problems, hacked for 45 mins, just a gentle walk around the farm on Wednesday with no problems. Took him out this morning for the same gentle walk and cough, cough, cough - no discharge and nothing coughed up. I've had another lengthy conversation with the vet who has given us another pot of Sputulosin and has ordered some special sooper dooper expensive antibiotics which will come on Tuesday, and that's another 10 day course.
I asked what happens if those don't work - she says there is another antibiotic to try but after that it requires a referral to the hospital and they will do another scope and a vigorous work up to see how he reacts. From there apparently there are surgical options or permanent medication options..... There's talk of COPD and a paralysed larynx among other things. I know that individually these are probably manageable, but combined with the back problem they make me feel rather pessimistic.
I have made the decision with a heavy heart that we will try the antibiotics, and probably go for the work up and then see. I'm not going down the surgical route - it's just not worth it putting him through that when his back is a ticking time bomb and no one knows how long it will stay good. The vet (and the senior partner) are both in agreement that it does not make sense to subject him to surgery (just a standing op last summer knocked him sideways for a long time).
However, that's in theory, when/if decision time comes I'm not sure what will happen. I love him to bits, but can not go on subjecting him to more and more medical processes, and in the meantime he's bored rigid in the field - chasing the chickens, the pony and the sheep, eating the fence and generally being pissed off (like his owner!).
He's 4 and we bought him unbroken back in January. He has been to a show for a ride around and was a good boy but still too green to compete. He has very extravagant paces - particularly in canter. We've not asked him to gallop yet and we're still in snaffles/wilkies - not tried him in a double yet. We've brought him home for a couple of months just so DD can ride him most days. Hope to take him to a show some time in June or July. Our aim is to take him to do a novice class at the BSPS Summer Champs. He is going to be a 13H Show Hunter Pony but he is a pure bred Section B so can do those classes as well if necessary going forward.
Brought the new 4yo 13h show hunter home on Monday after a hack out at producers. DD is going to hack him about for a month or so to get more used to him. Hopefully plan to take him to his first show in mid June. He's green but have to start somewhere.
SP still not qualified for RI! 2nd and 3rd in the two RI qualifiers at Winter Champs. Off to Royal Windsor - more for the pleasure of competing there rather than with any aspirations. After that have just 4 more opportunities to qualify and they come in a 7 day period!
Yes, I'm cautiously optimistic, although wary of getting too excited. Just submitted my fourth insurance claim in 3 years - getting my money's worth from SEIB - who have been absolutely fine with it all, thank goodness. It's a bit like waiting for a bomb to go off though as I know that the back op isn't a permanent cure and there's no way of knowing how long it will keep him pain free - I keep asking myself "is this it?" and seeing monsters where quite possible there are none. However I do feel less doom ridden than last week so that's a good thing - even if I can't ride!
How is the orange one doing (we must have a better name!)? Did you have a nice hack? I think young ones can learn so much just pootling about, without it blowing their brains or forcing them, and it's a great way to get to know them too.
Dhorse's results are back from Newmarket - a deep seated bacterial infection, possibly secondary to COPD. He's been prescribed 10 days of antibiotics and Sputulosin and then a re examination. I'm not sure that COPD is the cause as it's the first time he's ever coughed for more than a day, but will hold fire there and see what the antibiotics do. He's happy to have them as I lace his food with liquid molasses which he loves so at least I know he'll get the full dose!
I've decided to start doing his back exercises again, and then see how he feels when I get on and decide whether the physio is necessary. I'm not sure how long he'll be off for but in my mind I've written off the next four weeks.
oh frosty how disappointing, all this lovely weather too, it will be hard not to ride? how is his cough? hope the bute helps pinpoint what else is going on, and glad at least the vet was helpful and supportive! I wish someone would invent a cheap but lovely and effective veterinary service
our orange girl did her first circuit of the school in canter today, she is very sweet and willing but there is a long road ahead although we knew that and it confirms that daughter's input for now can be working on walk and trot transitions and bendiness and straightness between actual Schooling
taking her for a proper hack tomorrow and looking forward to cantering without worry about lead leg and with her being a bit more naturally forward going (hopefully) fingers crossed
Lovely pictures Mitchy - she looks like she's settled in really well. Mixed news for me: the vet did a lot of poking and prodding of Dhorse's back, plus flexion and circling tests and pronounced that he thought it wasn't too bad at all (having read the initial diagnosis and surgery reports that I gave him). He didn't feel an xray was necessary and suggested that if I want he could prescribe 7 days of bute and see if that makes any difference. As he put it "a crude but effective way" of seeing if there is something wrong rather than just me seeing things that aren't there. He was very understanding and didn't ridicule me for panicking.
Cough wise it's a bit of a mystery - all the time dhorse was being trotted up and down he didn't cough once, nor is there any discharge. However when the scope went down his lungs are full of "gunk" - including bits of grass and black specks, ugh. His larynx isn't paralysed which is sometimes a symptom of grass in the lungs, and they couldn't see any obvious cause. Samples have been taken and we go from there. Meanwhile he's on the lovely Sputulosin to try and loosen the gunk. £££££'s again!
So no outings for the foreseeable future - no fun ride, hunter trial or stewarding at the point to point which were our plans for the next few weeks - it's pants.
she's settled in extraordinarily well so far, thanks, except ate the farm out of straw so I've had a productive day of lugging bales of shavings in and out of the communal land rover
been in our school a couple of times and on a small hack, just walk and trot, has a good look at everything but nothing seems to worry her - actually she's not amazingly responsive in general but I think that could be a good thing. It's easier to heat them up than calm them down isn't it? 'boot camp' starts officially tomorrow but I don't think the producer will find her much of a challenge she's so sweet, and the boys (horse and pony) are smitten but trail round at a safe distance because she's reserved all her affections for the sec B in our field who matches her