Friday, May 29, 2015

Chance Limps In

And the Vet Comes Again

Chance was a little lame early on in the week and it just got worse as the days went by.

Obviously, my first instinct was that he might have a hoof abscess. It was just because of the lameness's progression and the way he was limping.

Now, a bit of a digression here. When my vet was out to do spring shots last week, she noticed he was a "little" off. With Chance at this point, something like that was insignificant. If you have followed his story, you know: he had Lyme disease last year, he is being shod as a navicular horse due to X-rays from last summer that showed some very slight navicular changes in his left front, he had an injection of Osphos, which is the new navicular drug, he was sound in early spring on the front, but slightly off in the rear, the rear leg X-rays showed OCD in his stifle, and as a result of all this, he is now considered a trail horse only with minimal arena work on the horizon.

So this week, I watched him carefully and sure enough, he limped on his right front more and more as the week went on.

My first option was to call my farrier. Scott Previte is a master and he came out yesterday morning to pull Chance's shoe and pads. (Complicated wedge pads and eggbar shoe) He checked Chance over carefully with the hoof testers and found nothing. But the lameness was far more severe with the shoe off. So Scott taped the pads on and wrapped the hoof in Vetrap and duct tape--the horseman's indespensible tools-- and said I'd better get the vet out.

Dr. Parisio came today. She didn't even have Chance trot because the lameness was so obvious at the walk. She felt a very, very slight pulse, but again, hoof testers showed nothing.

So the next step was a nerve block of the foot. We had to put the chain on Chance's gums to settle him down, but he finally stood for the injections. Sure enough, once the block took hold  he was very much sounder. So that isolated the lameness to his foot.
Dr, Parisio preparing Chance for the X-ray, Tara holding him. 
X-rays were next on the agenda.  He was a pretty good boy for them.

But there was still nothing definitive. No sign of a shadow that might have been an abscess, and no real bony changes. There is a little roughening on the navicular and the slightest hint of a developing ringbone, but nothing radical enough to account for serious lameness.

I called Scott while Dr. Parisio was there and they had a long conversation discussing everything including some possible shoeing changes to make.
Picture of computer with digital X-ray of the hoof. 
So, tomorrow, Scott should be here and he will put the shoe back on. In the meantime, I am giving Chance bute to see if that has any effect. Again, if there is an occult abscess brewing, the bute will have no impact. If he is sounder on the bute, that means there may be some soft tissue pain...ligament or tendon....or something else. It's a matter of wait and see at this point.

(I was going to take more pictures, but the flash went off and startled Chance so I opted out.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Coming Soon: Romance!

The Loving Cup

Some time ago I wrote a romance novel. I sent it out a few times and it was picked up by an agent who was willing to represent me. All well and good. We did a bit of work together, but then the agent closed her business.

Since then, the novel has been sitting on the shelf, well actually, on a computer diskette. I found it a month or so ago, and in-between my fantasy writing, I have started to prepare the romance for publication.

The story is full of horses, handsome heroes, a beautiful heroine, and mystery.

So far, it is formatted and ready for my editing friend to read whenever he can wrap his head around struggling through a horse infused romantic tale. (I tell you, Dave is a trooper for putting up with this kind of stuff.) Meanwhile, however, he did manage to design a cover for me.

So in its public debut, the cover for The Loving Cup.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer Visitor

Turkey Lurkey

I seem, as Grey Horse Matters has, to have been adopted by a wild turkey.

For several days now, a turkey has been lurking in my yard, most noticeably under the bird feeder.  He/she seems to have taken up residence somewhere nearby.  This morning when I went out he did not run away in panic when I greeted him. (Hard to tell if it's a Tom, but I thought I saw him displaying himself the other day and I don't think the females do that.)

Anyhow, for now, it is just "Turkturk" and as long as we both keep a respectful distance from each other, I'm fine with that.

I did snap a few pictures from afar.

Fence repair courtesy of baling twine, for now.

Tucker looks a bit skeptical.

This is the first time in a couple years that I've had visiting fowl. 

The last time it was a little flock of one Tom and several females. I don't know if wild turkerys are generally loners or if this is just a short stay.

Either way, I will keep my eye on him so he doesn't get too territorial and decide it's his yard and not mine. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Novel Published

White Wind Published

The fifth book in The Saga of Magiskeep , White Wind has been published.  It will be for sale at Amazon in Kindle and paperback shortly, and at Smashwords in ePub formats.

“The White Wind blows on the wings of the Dragon seeking its rider in tapestries of snow. “

Grandisite, hold of the Seers, mortal enemies to Magis, demands Jamus’ allegiance as he struggles to maintain his sanity in a world gone dark.

Haunted by the specter of a demanding White Woman, Jamus is thrown into the world of the White River, a world alien to Sorcery as he knows it. There he must learn to fly the White Dragon and face his own disbelief, conquering the secrets of a world ready to deny his Magick and blind him to the world he loves.

His destiny in Turan’s Way forces him to confront his dreams, solve the riddles of the tapestries and gain one more victory on his quest to become the true Rivermaster.

The Saga continues. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Straight from the Hip

Well, Here's the Story

As regular readers know, I took a fall from Tucker last year and ended up with a broken hip bone. Fortunately I healed well but the metal hardware installed to stabilize my bone is causing some chronic and often hard to bear pain.

My orthopedic doctor decided I needed to have the pin that anchored the rod in my broken bone removed as it was the source of the discomfort. He, however, has retired from doing surgery so he referred me to one of the younger doctors in the practice.

I met with Doctor #2 yesterday.  He thinks he should remove both the pin and the rod.

He had no surgical openings until into June. That posed a problem for me. I have already paid for my yearly membership at my local swimming complex and I really do want to spend most summer days getting some swimming exercise in both for my weight and for my knees. It's the best way for me to exercise.

So, we decided I would hold off on surgery until September. It really was up to me as to whether or not I wanted to wait.

The plus is that I will be in really good physical shape for surgery at that point with all the swimming. The downside is spending the summer coping with a very aggravating sore and sometimes painful thigh muscle.

I asked about any other temporary options and my doctor suggested an injection of cortisone. I agreed and he gave me one--right into the really sore spot of my muscle. It did hurt, but I survived. Now I have to wait a few days to see if it does anything. Apparently it takes a few days to take effect. But, there is no guarantee it will help. Sometimes it works really well, and sometimes not.

So, I wait.

As for the surgery, it is usually an outpatient procedure with no hospital stay unless there are unforeseen complications. One never knows with a surgery. Getting out of the hospital on the same day to go home would be great. It does solve a lot of pre-planning complications.

I will still hire my horsesitter if she is available. Taking care of the Boys for a few weeks will likely be a bit too much for me. Not only will the new surgery site have to heal, but the hip bone itself will be a bit weaker than it is now with the rod in place. That does concern me a little, but my September I will have done enough research and investigating into it to be confident as to exactly what the right thing to do will be.

Meantime, I am planning to try a little more trail riding--with a good stretch first--to see how the muscle feels in the saddle. Some days its fine and other days it goes into spasm.

Now Chance, with is OCD, and I, with my unhappy thigh, have even more in common. We are both slightly disabled and need to take it easy.

Just the kind of riding I like to do these days.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Some Things Just Strike Me As Funny

Those Internet Slide Shows

People on Facebook are always posting lists of things with accompanying web likes to slide shows.

I hate that. The slides take forever to go through and often there is just a bit of explanatory text under a picture and you have to click over and over to get the full. story. I don't know what the reasoning is behind that unless it's to maximize the number of pages the viewer has to click through to get the information so more advertisers can have their say.

Every now and then, however, when actually have the patience to check out all the photos of, say, the "20 Worst Car Parkers in the World," I do find some little gem that really makes me laugh.

My sense of humor varies. Sometimes things other people claim are truly *roflol* tend to leave me gaping in confusion, or simply stone-faced. I do love clever jokes, plays on words, and all those moments in life when something unexpected happens--only if absolutely no one gets hurt.

Then, there are moments like this one, usually involving animals that strike my funnybone.

So here goes. I think I found the original site and do give it credit.

Somehow that cat managed a perfect imprint of one foot. Is it real? Who knows, but it surely looks that way. I can't find too many details about it. There is one web site with dozens of nasty comments about how dirty and nasty cats are, so that does spoil it.

But,stop, and imagine yourself in your own kitchen making pies. Hopefully, you'd have a cat, otherwise, I'd be a bit worried. 

Would you laugh or cry?

I'd grab the camera, take a picture and finish the pie. Baking will kill almost anything, and besides, we animal people have a different perspective on germs than the rest of the world.

Don't we?

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Plan B

I'm Hip On This

I went to my hip orthopedic doctor today to see what he said about my sore leg. After looking at my X-rays which are just fine, and then doing a little prodding on my leg, he told me the pin holding the rod in my formerly broken bone was the problem.

There were two solutions. Sometimes, he said, he has used injections to give temporary relief, but it was temporary. The second solution is to remove the pin.

That' means surgery. Recovery would be a lot less complex than getting over the broken bone, but it would be surgery, nonetheless. It's the option I am choosing.

The only little flaw in the plan is that my doctor is no longer doing surgeries. He has retired from the operating room. So, at the moment, I am waiting to hear from his office regarding another surgeon who can take care of me. It's a large orthopedic group, so I'm sure there will be a good doctor available. I hope I get a call soon. Swimming season fast approaches and I don't want to miss out.

Meanwhile, the afternoon was full of a vet visit for the Boys. Routine Spring vaccinations, sheath cleaning, and teeth floating were on the agenda for all three.

I am pleased to report that all three horses are in good shape and their teeth are now ready to happily chew all the food I give them. They were all good boys.

I was particularly glad of their good behavior because the vet who came today is pregnant--due in mid-June.  She's still at work, obviously, and hopes to stay on the job for quite a while yet. She's the office expert on equine dental work and really loves to float teeth. So, I know the Boys got the best of care on that front especially.

My vet office, as I've said before is really super about keeping appointments. Dr. McAndrews was supposed to be here at 1PM and sure enough, within a few minutes of target hour, she pulled into the back yard. The assistant, Mary, was with her today, so I didn't have much to do except to stand around to observe and make commentary and small talk.

Since all three of us have been riders for some time--the doctor was a pony clubber in her youth--we can always seem to swap stories about the"old days." Well, my "old days" are a lot older than theirs, but the world of horses used to be a different place than it is today.

"Back then" none of us worried whether or not our saddles fit our horses. If they fit us, that was just fine. "Back then," a full new set of horseshoes, "installed *G*" cost me $12.  "Back Then," grain came in 100 pound bags, far too heavy for most of us girls to lift. We had a good laugh about some of the challenges of dealing with that. "Back then," we didn't know much if anything about Cushings disease or nutritional options to keep our horses healthy and fit into their senior years. "Back then" we jumped and galloped cross country courses with abandon.

Times have changed. I'd never trade in a minute of my "Back then," but I happy my horses have "Now" with much better care and understanding.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Out Walking

A Little Sore in the Saddle

I am going to my orthopedic doctor on Wednesday to consult about my hip. I'm pretty sure the pin holding the rod through my bone--pretty grisly, sorry--is causing me pain in the thigh muscle. Sometimes it scales up to a full 10. And it does hurt when I ride. So, if there is no solution, I will just push on through, but if there is a remedy, I'll baby myself a bit longer.

I am still exercising, mostly walking. I'd swim, but the indoor pool is 14 miles away and I really have to motivate myself to make the drive. Maybe tomorrow when I will already be out and partway there on another little trip.

So today I hiked out to the back of the woods, took the hairpin turn under the power lines, crossed back along the farm we preserved and then headed home. These are great farm roads for walking and for trail rides. It's nice and open with good footing and plenty of options. My walk took about an hour. On horseback? Perhaps 45 minutes or so. It's easy to stretch the horseback ride to longer by taking some of the side options.

Here are some pictures of the trails.

This is back of the farm we preserved.

Looking at the preserved farmhouse area from the woods.

Turnpike and warehouses just across the farm field.

Trail along the edge of the woods with a nice little hill.

One of the trails going into or out of the woods.

Another neat little farm road heading to the tree farm.

Looking my pasture fenceline from the woods.

The Boys in the pasture with trees down from all the storms.

Chance by himself. Neighbor's house in background. 

Toby and Tucker amid the fallen trees. The tree trunks are replacing the fencing that got broken

My pasture is not lush, but none of my Boys need rich grass. Toby has Cushings , while Tucker and Chance stay fat on air. There's enough growth to keep them amused and not enough to make them sick.