The Birth of Frankenfoster

It’s been a strange and stressful past few days, starting with an emergency trip to the local vet school with someone else’s bleeding and somewhat sedated horse in my trailer, followed Sunday with my return to the vet school with my own horse in tow.

And ending with my horse becoming radioactive.

After getting the second opinion of another vet, it became obvious that with 3 out of 4 legs looking wonky, traditional diagnostic tests (flexions, nerve blocking, etc) would not necessarily be the best way to see what’s going on. Instead, she recommended I get a bone scan done, which means injecting the horse with a radioactive isotope and taking pictures of the horse’s entire body. The horse will “light up” at the points of inflammation, including where tendons connect to bone if there are problems there, etc. Unfortunately the process also means that the horse will emit low levels of radiation for approximately 24 hrs, which means Foster will be at the vet school until tomorrow afternoon/evening when I pick him and his wounded barn buddy up.

Foster's opinion of the proceedings

Foster’s opinion of the proceedings

Ideally the pictures will show us exactly what areas we need to concentrate on, and lead to a plan for getting Frankenfoster my pony back to 100%. I’m loathe to put any kind of speculation on here, because I’m fairly sure there will be some surprises when I get the results Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday. So in the meantime I continue to ask everyone to send prayers, good karma, awesome juju, whatever our way that what we find is manageable.

My horse has a powerful glare when he wants to

Glare stare

Until then, keep your fingers crossed!

Spoke too soon

Are you enjoying being on this emotional roller coaster with me? It seems to be a hell of a ride, because I can’t seem to get off it.

I got out to the barn delighted to see a fairly tight leg with no heat, but added polo wraps just in case. Then we started our dressage lesson last night with thunder clouds looming in the distance. We walked and chatted about how horrible the last 3 weeks have been and talked about what we would work on that day.

And then we trotted.

And he was lame.

And then the storm rolled in and we retreated to the covered, and almost made it before the wind kicked up and tried to rip the gutter off the roof. I thanked my terrified pony for not dumping me and heading for the hills and dismounted.

I kid you not this was running through my head

I kid you not this was running through my head

Basically we stood under the covered until the lightning made everyone jump before retreating to the barn to discuss our options. Tomorrow will be day 10 since the hock injections, and ideally the magic period where the effects peak and he feels good. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case. It doesn’t help that I found out later that Foster did a little more self-exercising the night before, fussing with a gelding on the other side of the fence. He’s now been moved to a different paddock and hopefully will decide to be chill and eat grass like a normal horse.

Too bad Foster’s not a normal horse. Oh well.

I keep looking at my calendar, in vain hoping more days will insert themselves between now and the clinic. I keep reviewing my iPhone video of him lunging and willing that back right to look 100%.

I keep wishing I didn’t have to write this darned email to the clinic organizers.

Sorry y’all for bringing you along on the sad train! Hopefully positive days are ahead of us.

Post-Hock Injection Musings

Not really much content to blog about this week, since Foster got his hocks injected Monday afternoon. I’m going to ride him on the flat later today, and hopefully take the opportunity to practice that galloping position at the canter and get comfortable in my jump saddle.

When the vet was there on Monday I bombarded her with questions. Could this really be a stifle problem? Could his hocks be fusing? Were we going to be doing hock injections every six months forever? Is the level of work I am asking of him too much? The answer to all: Not likely. Of course I would have preferred a resounding No, but definites are well, not likely in horses.

Feel bad for lightweight Fosterpants

Feel bad for lightweight Fosterpants

Of course pending how he is feeling over the next couple days, our plan is to take another cross country lesson with BC this Sunday. I’m a little concerned about not having really done much in the 3 weeks since our last lesson, much less having jumped. But still it will be worth getting out and galloping before the big clinic, which is coming up fast and furious. I can’t [don’t want to] jump Foster before our lesson because I feel it would be unfair to jump any sooner than Sunday, so we will do our best with playing with ground poles and me just getting the hang of really riding in a jump saddle again.