Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Bit of a Scare Today

It has rained here for the past 4 days straight, I have had a terrible cold, and I'm in desperate need of a vacation. The sun came back this afternoon, and things are beginning to look up. Weather-wise, at least.

Over the past few days, Faith has been getting turned out in the arena. Since it has rained basically non-stop for the better half of the week, the ground is saturated and dry ground is nonexistent. Due to our ongoing battle with thrush, (which we seem to currently be winning - yay!) I do not want to turn her out on wet ground. Faith has been hanging out with Dominic in the arena, munching hay side-by-side with him, chasing him away when he takes more than his fair share.

Faith has thankfully shown progress with her front end lameness. Although she is not yet 100% back to normal, she appears more sound with each passing day. She is still stiff throughout her body, but she has "cowboy'ed-up" and is dealing with everything like the trooper she is.

That being said, today was probably one of the scariest days I've had in a long time with her...

Let me preface this by saying that Faith normally does not lay down to roll or rest, even at night. At the absolute most, maybe two mornings each week she will have shavings in her mane and tail. I've always thought it peculiar that a horse whose body has seen so much stress doesn't lay down and relax very often.

A few times in the past, I have seen her roll in the arena. She goes down like any normal horse, but standing back up for her is a little different. She will get her front legs out in front of her, then sit up like a dog. Most horses at this moment would lunge forward to get their hind end underneath them, and push themselves upright. Faith isn't like the others though. She sits up like a dog for about 15-20 seconds, looks around, shakes her head, and then pushes herself up. She just needs a few seconds to get her bearings straight and rest before the big heave-ho.

Today I checked on her in the arena, and she was happily munching on some hay. Within a minute after I entered, Faith walked away from her lunch and meandered around the far end of the arena to find a spot to roll. She circled a few times with her nose to the ground, and finally went down on her knees, and then onto her right side. She rolled, kicked up a bunch of sand, and even managed to roll all the way over onto her left side. She flipped herself upright, rubbed the side of her face on her leg, let out a sneeze, and then pushed herself up into a sitting position. She waited as she normally does before she stands, and then tried to get up. But she couldn't. She fell back down, her hind end too weak to do its job. My heart sank into my stomach...

Faith quickly sat back up and put her front legs out in front of her again. This time she waited a little bit longer and tried again. Nothing. Back down she went.

She tucked her front legs under her and took a break for a minute. Then back up again with her fronts, a short pause, and an attempt with the hinds. Still nothing. All she managed to due was turn herself about 90 degrees.

Although her strength was fading, her attitude was building. She was growing more angry and frustrated with each attempt. Her mind decided to do what her body couldn't, and she finally put her all into it. Her back end came up, her hind legs caught her weight, and she made it. She was quite shaky on her legs, but she was vertical.

I'm not sure if it was a lack of coordination, or a lack of strength, but she was struggling much more than she normally does. The vet will be coming out soon to pull Cori's stitches, and I will discus this at length with him. I'll be checking on her all through the night tonight.

Deep breath....



  1. Sending Jingles that Faith is ok, and is just testing your love for her again.

  2. We had a Friesian on our farm that did the exact thing that Faith did. He was 28 yrs old and very weak in his hindquarters, plus he had arthritis in his hips so that was going against him too. Here's to hoping Faith gets better!

  3. I'm wondering if there are any stregth building exercises that the vet could recommend that wouldn't aggravate her other lameness issues. I'm anxious to hear what he had to say. Keeping my fingers crossed!!

  4. Oh poor Faith...that girl has some spirit. That must have been really hard to watch.

  5. Eeek, scary! Is it possible that when she gets up after a roll, she usually starts from lying on one particular side (maybe her right, since you'd mentioned that was the side she laid down on?), but this time had managed to roll herself all the way over so she was trying to get up starting from her non-preferred side? I could see where that would be more difficult than normal for her.

    Hope she and the rest of your crew are feeling better today.