Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I promised I would share our radiographs with you all when I got them, and here they are! First I will share the view of the left front. This is a DV (dorsal ventral) view, or view from above shooting down at the foot.

You can see there is a nice smooth navicular bone. It is one single piece. Next is the skyline view, or a shot from behind and up, at the same foot. She moved a little bit, so it isn't terribly clear.

Again, nice smooth navicular bone.

Here is our DV view of the right front. I placed an arrow where you can clearly see the two different bones, instead of one smooth bone.

And our skyline view.

And for kicks, a lateral of the right front. I get a little overwhelmed when I try to read about hoof angles and what everything should look like in there. Hopefully it is where it should be.

So, there you have it. I get to test ride her today (Tuesday!) and see what we have. That might be a little difficult given that she has no shoes on yet (farrier had to have a little surgery last week) so we will see what she thinks about that. Hopefully she is feeling better! She seems pretty chipper and, of course, just keeps on weaving. That's her theme song.
You are not funny, mom.
Just keep weaving. Just keep weaving. Just keep weaving weaving weaving...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Seek and You Shall Find

We have arrived.
So, I couldn't take it anymore. My horse was still hurting and I had no idea why. I wanted to say she bruised her feets, but I really didn't think that was all of it. We had come through a lot with those feets, but something just didn't feel right. So I called our equine hospital to set up an appointment for Friday. And it was the right choice.
Lindsey was kind enough to lend her rig, and Aimee was kind enough to drive it to me and take us to the hospital. I tried to remain calm and tried to thin positive if I was going to thin anything at all. Of course, it was raining quite a bit when we got there and performed the initial lameness exam. We trotted her on the pavement in both directions, away and back, and lunged her in the covered sand arena. She was significantly better in the sand, which confirmed the theory in the vet's mind about it being joint related. We put in a block in the foot, and trotted her on the pavement again. I cringed as I watched Bacon have noooo respect for the tech holding her. But, she was quite a bit better with the block, about 80%. We brought her back inside, her muscles quivering with nervousness, blocked a little higher and tried again. Success.
Putting in the block. Way to make your neck look unattractive there, mare. And the hinds legs.
I dislike you, woman.
At some point, the tech got switched out, and Bacon appreciated the second one more. The nice vet asked if we could pull her shoe to take radiographs, and of course, I obliged. Bacon also get herself some drugs at this point. We pulled the shoe and shot several radiographs of the right front. Another vet was passing through, and my vet (Dr. W) called him over. They discussed what they saw, said maybe a curse word, and then called me over. The other vet grabbed a hoof diagram and explained what they were seeing.
Repacking the foot for better radiographs. I am holding the precious.
"Your horse has kind of an odd and rare condition called Bipartite Navicular." Well, alright then. He showed me on the radiograph how her navicular bone is separated into two different halves instead of one nice, smooth bone. She probably jostled them a bit and created herself a nice area of inflammation and making herself rather uncomfortable. He also found some effusion in the coffin joint. He was curious about the other front foot, so I allowed them to pull that show too and radiograph that foot. It had a normal navicular bone, but did have some effusion in that coffin joint as well. Don't worry, I will share the xrays when I receive them!
We have the same look on our face.
He was not concerned about her hind limbs at all, nor her ugly knee. I had shared the images of her feet earlier, and he was quite happy with the way they look now. Nice healthy soles and frogs. Her wall was a little uneven in the insides of her feet, so he suggests the farrier take them down about 1/4" when she gets reset. But continue shoeing as we have been. He stated he didn't really like pads (neither do I) but he was amazed at how well she had done with them. Next, it was treatment for our little area of concern.
He asked if he could inject her navicular bursa (sac around her navicular bones) with HA and a steroid to help heal the inflammation surrounding that area and her coffin joint (since it is all related). He poked her and showed me all of the fluid draining from extra inflammation in the coffin joint and her body's way to responding to it. Also, at some point during all of this, the horse receiving surgery next door was finished and wheeled into our giant room. There were two padded recovery rooms in with us. Aimee and I were amazed (we have never seen this happen in person before), and I am not quite sure what Bacon thought. The horse was lifted by the legs from a contraption on the ceiling (very loud) and slowly moved into the room. So, Bacon stared, confused, at the floating upside down horse. I am glad she had drugs.
Ummm, what am I looking at? Should we run?
After inserting the needle, they took one more radiograph to make sure it was in the right spot, and inserted the goods. They had to go through a tendon and into the foot. Poor Bacy. The vet wasn't too concerned with her left foot, but suggested we inject her to help her coffin joint out if I thought she might need it. I am glad Aimee was there to ask all sorts of important questions, because I was kind of dazed. He said he had a lot of hope that we would just return to doing what we have been doing and be well on our way. We may need to poke her there with drugs every once in a while, or we may not. He did not think this would affect her career at all and that I shouldn't be worried. If there were issues, we had a lot more tools in the toolbox to use.
Mother, HALP.
I was ordered to give her four days rest with bute, and then ride her as normal. The drugs should take effect within 3-4 days, and fully working by day 10. I was happy that I brought her in. There is no way I would have known that was what was going on. And it makes sense if I look back in history too. Since it is congenital, she was born with it. But, I still struggle with thinking that this was mostly caused by me. With her sudden lameness back in 2012, after I had had her for several months, she probably did something stupid in the pasture to really anger it. After it healed, she was good to go all through 2014. Year 2015 was the battle with thrush, and the lack of frogs made her go toe first for soo long (all my fault there), which probably started the coffin joint issues and aggravated the BN. And perhaps the coffin joints are still angry this year, and of course, I angered the BN again.
Should be purple.
I am still trying to wrap my head around all of this. I am doing my best to not google any of it, because I am sure I would just focus on all of the bad information out there. I will ride the pony and see what I have. One step at a time. Aspen and the Karen O'Conner clinic are certainly up in the air, but Bacon is more important than any of that. If she isn't comfortable, then we will scratch and pick a different event for the future. Though it stinks, it is better than all of the other alternative bad things I had in my mind. Hopefully it all works out for the best!
Home at last.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Holding Thy Breath

I am always embarrassed by sharing this, but if someone can learn from me, then I guess I can be ok with it.
Farrier man came out on Monday and assessed our situation. Bacon's feet are still not quite perfect, but if you look back in these pictures, you can see a world of improvement. My heart always aches a bit to look at horrible they were, but at least we are ahead of that part. And she has frogs. And I am going to make sure they stay there. Farrier never laughs at me taking pictures either, and actually enjoys looking back through and seeing the changes. Plus, he just knows I am crazy and obsess about my mare.
Sunken frog vs froggy above the sole. Nice, squishy happy frog!
My farrier could not see too much externally as to why Bacon was not feeling too hot. Her right foot has always seemed to bother her more than anything else, but now it is the left front that is the issue. That is the uglier foot, so I am surprised that it is just now seeming to be ouchy. Of course, it may not be her feet at all, but her front legs are tight and even, so right now I can only assume this is where the issue is stemming from. If there was a case of bruising caused by the rocks, it is too early to tell.
One of the hinds. Bigger, happier frogs. When they don't have a hole and tear in them.
We are slowly getting the heel back to where it should be (even with the other one!) on her left front as well. Her weaving makes things interesting. If I could, I would leave her barefoot and see what happens, but I tried that once when I first brought her home, and she weaved the hoof walls right off. Farrier did not think she needed the frog support pads anymore, but didn't think going padless was quite the right answer. If she does bruise that easily, even through the frog support pad, he thought maybe trying an airplane grade plastic pad would help detour the painful rocks and uneven ground in the future. I am hesitant, but we have worked hard to get where we are and trying to come up with the next best phase for her.
Sealing new sneakers with PURPLE.
Her hinds have been without issue, except, you know, for the whole abscess blowing out of the coronet band thing. He found a whole in her frog back there, and also some tearing that may also be contributing to her ouchiness. Poor girl. She is still pretty solid everywhere else though. But, I still sigh. Of course I was hoping she would walk off completely sound, but that is wishful thinking.
We need happy feets and legs and everything so we can tackle this again.
We are going to give these new fancy sneakers a few days and see if her comfort level changes at all. It may very well be bruising. But, with our lameness issues all throughout the year last year and now again this year, I just have an uneasy feeling in my gut. It won't leave me alone. And so, if she is not significantly better here quickly, I will be scheduling an appointment with our equine hospital. Husband keeps trying to ease my mind, even bought pie, and agreed with the situation. I am not sure where the money for this is going to come from, but we will have to make it work. I keep having dreams where I am riding her all over and jumping awesome jumps, and it feels so real and correct. And then I wake up, go outside, look at her with sad eyes, and she wanders over and tries to cheer me up.
Hi mom. I'm here. Don't cry.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Frowny pony face while trying a three ring.
Life has been pretty steady. Bacon and I were working on our dressage and would try to throw in a jump school here and there once a week. Only our dressage has been a little lackluster. Sure, there are some nice moments, but mare has had some opinions and feels and has been expressing them. Her little brain has been becoming more easily frazzled and our rides have been interesting because of it. And our jump schools have been worse.
Pretty awesome views.
Really, I think it has been a combination of different things. Her hormones are off of the chart this year. It is like she has been in a perpetual heat cycle that has not really let off. I think it makes her body a bit more uncomfortable, and her brain even more sensitive. Another issue is our lack of space. I am asking her to do harder things in a crammed area and it has overwhelmed her. The pasture is not too hard and uneven and I feel uncomfortable asking her to work out there, as her feet are still sensitive and I want to save those leggies. She is just hot to trot this year and can't seem to settle her brain down and it has been less fun than I would like it to be.

I had planned to get Bacon out to one of the schooling jumper shows this month. I took a leap and went for the spendier one that was a few hours away because it had the opportunity to school another xc course the day before. After another bummer jump school testing out bits, I wasn't sure I wanted to go. But Aimee and Lindsey encouraged me and I bit the bullet. I went without them though, so there is pretty much no photographic evidence of me riding around.
Jump field one!
As much as I absolutely changing bits (especially moving up a degree) I only have stamina and strength to keep pulling Bacon up and off of her forehand. She has been loving bowing up like a racehorse between fences and pulling me downwards, just like she use to go on the track. Her very strong exercise rider always had shaky arms after he got off of her, so there is no way I can keep up with her on this. Aimee lended me a few different ones to try, and I continued for our xc schooling with the happy mouth mullen mouth pelham. She is not too sure what she really thinks about this bit. I still have to rebalance her quite a bit and I am not sure she is all that much of a fan of the chain. But, it does help with bringing her back and with some breaks and forces me to try and be softer with my hands. I don't think it is still her magic bit, but we are closer.

Some jumps in field two.
After we arrived Saturday afternoon, we tacked up and hacked over to the jump feilds. Again, Bacon was a little wound up, but we were jumping things in a new space. Without much guidance. We trotted and cantered a few small jumps, trying to establish a good pace. She was somewhat listening, so we strung a few fences together, and I eyed the big rolltop brush jump thing. We flew over that sucker. Bacon was totally game. We then moved onto the net field with more difficult jumps. After watching a more skilled rider go through a small course, I gave it a whirl. Over a portable ditch and wall, to a novice table, back around over a bench, and then to a five stride bending line. All of it rode quite awesomely and I smiled. 
Our only photo of our ride is from a video still. A bit defensive in my position, but that fence was actually up to my boob!
We rode through the next field, and just kept on going. The footing was super uneven, rocky, filled with holes and not nice on pony hooves or legs. We ended up in the stadium jump arena and Bacon and I strolled around at a walk with the other riders jumped. I was quite pleased with her. Not as perfect as the second day at Tulip Springs, but better than our first day there. I'll take it.
This thing was fun to jump too!
She was stalled right next another thoroughbred gelding, and their display of affection was disgusting. He would nicker and rest his head on her back, she would take her panties off and flash him, and he would lick her nether region. Bacon, you hussy. And, of course, she weaved and weaved and weaved and didn't touch her food too much. I tried to just not worry about her and enjoy the rest of my day. I hadn't been able to hear out of my ear though, and the pain in my legs was terrible, but I had good company. Right up the road, we stayed in an apartment in another person's barn and awaited the show jumping for tomorrow.
I am the bestest.
I was pleased to find my pony laying down resting when I went out to feed in the morning. When the hustle and bustle started again, she became anxious, but was totally chill for our walks. There were a million trillion riders before us in the smaller divisions, as we were some of the last riders to go that day. It was finally time to tack her up, and she seemed happy to be dressed for work, begging for cookies once she realized she could see me inside the trailer while she was tied up. She was shining and beautiful. I hopped on and went to the warm up area. Which was a tiny strip. Right next to the worst field. I tried to warm her up in the bigger space, but it was just soooo horrid. I moved her over into the little strip that was ok, popped her over the xrail and oxer and she was awesome and listening. I was excited to take on the courses for the day.
Put your ribbies away, shiny mare.
We paused and watched a few friends warm up, and then proceeded to walk to the ring. Except, Bacon was not feeling too great. She shuffled and would head bob as we tried to walk over the rocks. I hopped off, checked feets, noticed a tear on one of her frogs and sulked. I hand walked her up to the ring to have other friends have a look and they agreed she wasn't great. She was markedly better on the nicer surface, but still not ok. I sulked and tried to hold back tears as I took her back to the trailer. I missed so much stuff last year because of her feet and lack of funds. We are steadily creeping up on Aspen and the Karen O'Conner clinic and now I am not sure what the right steps are for her feet. The frog support pads were just what she needed when she had no frog, but now she does have one, and I am wondering if there is just too much pressure on them now. I don't necessarily want to take the pads off, because she is so sensitive, but I am not sure what the right answer is. 
Sorry girl.
She didn't even seem to know anything was wrong. She thought that was our ride, and she had done great and looked proud of herself. I stuffed her with cookies, sighed and put her back with her boyfriend, and moseyed over to the arena to watch my friends go. The worst part? There were so many refusals. So many. And I know my pony wouldn't have even looked at the jumps. We should have been out there claiming some satin and attempting our first 3'3" course. The farrier is supposed to come out today (Monday) and hopefully we can come up with a decent plan. As of right now, I am feeling a little blue.