So much news, where do I begin?!
First, let's start with a super adorable picture of Faith and Linus officially meeting each other for the first time.
With an OK from our vet and an updated negative Coggins test back from the lab, Linus was finally "officially" out of quarantine. Lucy brought Faith over to Linus's stall in the arena and they sniffed noses and became instant buddies. Since then, they have been turned out together and get along wonderfully!
I think this picture is just... perfect. One horse who recently arrived here and needs our help to survive meeting another who was at one point less than a week away from starving to death and has been successfully rehabbed. It's beautiful!
OK back to the topics...
Faith Under Saddle (How cool is THAT phrase?! Woo-hoo!)
I still cannot begin to explain how proud I was last week. Faith looks amazing and seeing her under saddle brought tears to my eyes. She has made a remarkable recovery and I just cannot believe how far she has come.
A few hours after that first ride she seemed a little sore on her right front leg. This is the same one we have been having soundness issues with over the past month or so, with inconsistent good and bad days. Faith wasn't terribly sore, just a bit stiff, so when dinnertime came around I ground up a bute and put it into her grain.
After I poured her dinner into her bucket, she lowered her head into it took one big sniff of it. That was all she needed. She picked her head up and looked me dead in the eye, lovingly pinning her ears back the whole time. Surprisingly, she dropped her head back into the bucket, reluctantly eating the entire meal. Later that evening she seemed more comfortable and the next morning went out to her paddock sound. I don't think it's a new problem that we're discovering, just the same old issue we've been trying to narrow down.
Faith went out for her second workout under saddle, and we found out that she is definitely NOT a beginner's horse at this time. Lucy was in the irons again and Faith did OK, but wasn't nearly as sweet as she was the first time. She was forward, forward, forward and didn't want to stop cantering. Now would probably be a good time to mention that never once during the 20-minute ride did Lucy give her a canter cue. Faith took it upon herself to make the decisions, which doesn't surprise me in the least. She has always been a strong, independent old lady. Although she wasn't running away per se, she wasn't too interested in stopping right away either. Part of me was a little disappointed that she wasn't behaving herself, and the other part was just elated that she was feeling so damn good!
Faith's Upcoming Spa Treatment
Dr. Brad Barnes is coming out Thursday morning to reevaluate and readjust her. We may start her on joint injections or possibly a systemic injection depending on what Dr. Barnes thinks is most appropriate for her. My goal is to just keep her as sound and comfortable as possible, even if it means keeping her from work under saddle. I'll keep everyone updated with what he decides!
Then on Friday, we have a massage therapist coming around 10am to give Faith her first massage! I am fairly certain she'll close her eyes and begin to fall asleep as she did with the chiropractor last time - and that was only for about two minutes! She'll be in heaven after 45-75 minutes! I will post pictures for everyone to see.
Random Thought: I just realized that this horse is treated better than I am. Do you know when the last time I was treated to a nice spinal adjustment and full body massage?! It's been a while! Hmph....
Overall, Linus is doing really, really well. To start, he has gained about 30 pounds since he arrived here 14 days ago. The weight he has put on is noticeable even to me, and I see him every day. The lice are gone. His wounds are scabbing over and healing.
My favorite thing about this guy is his absolutely adorable personality. He must be the friendliest horse that I've ever worked with before. His personality is amazing and I love spending time with him. He is very well socialized, loves attention and is very gentle. Plus, he'll do anything to get his butt rubbed. He's a big fan of that. :-)
Brad Erickson came out last week to trim Linus. Linus could have been a bit better, but was distracted by one of our farm critters here. You see, we have a pig at our farm and "Charlotte" temporarily lives in one of the horse stalls. I would like to take a moment here now to say that I am by no means a pig farmer. She was given to me by a student so she didn't end up on someone's dinner plate - I'll explain in more detail in a quite humorous post some day!
Well, it's quite apparent that Linus has never seen or heard a big snort before and he freaked out about 90 seconds after being in the aisle. He backed down the aisle a hundred miles an hour and I thought for a second that his eyes were going to pop right out of his little skinny head! I eventually got him under control, but he kept his eyes glued to the stall for the rest of his time in the barn, his muscles flexed and his veins popping out of his skin. Silly thoroughbreds... :-)
Besides the porkroast-induced heart attack Linus suffered, he was eventually OK and Brad got the job done. We are leaving him barefoot for now, but his prior owners told us that when they used him for lessons they had him shod all around with pads on his front hooves. If and when we ever get to the point of riding him, I will have Brad evaluate him and if he thinks that shoes are a neccessity we will have them put on.
Linus's Guy Issues
Linus's "organ" hasn't made any improvements despite the many treatments our veterinarians have given him. It is still infected, with parts of skin continuing to slough off, even after receiving a 4-day run of Naxcel. Due to the fact that we do not want any infections to spread, we have finalized plans to have a penile amputation completed. He is scheduled to be admitted for surgery on June 29th at the Myhre Equine Clinic, with surgery on June 30th with Dr. Grant Myhre.
I have spoken with Dr. Myhre on the phone a few times over the past week and he has been absolutely wonderful about answering my questions and making me feel at ease with the procedure. Also, since Linus is a rescue, he has kindly offered to do Linus's surgery for us at a reduced rate. Thanks so much Dr. Myhre!
You can read all about the clinic by going to http://www.myhreequine.com/MECHome.htm and all about Linus's surgeon, Dr. Grant Myhre, at http://www.myhreequine.com/DrMyhreBio.htm.
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I will respond to comments left on this blog in tomorrow's post! It's late and I'm off to bed now!