Friday, December 28, 2012


Had an unfortunate year in the horse world...

My A/O became lame in May at a horse show and after an MRI at Rood and Riddle is seemingly permanently lame. Romeo is on his 3rd attempt at a rehab, but is feeling better after an additional injection to his deep digital flexor sheath.

I am however half leasing a horse at my eventing barn and hope to be competing him early on in the 2013 season. He is big and beautiful! I can't wait.

My business is slowly growing and I am quite excited about that. Most of the year I have focused on undergraduate and my vet school application.

Sorry for the lack of updates! I have really had nothing to update about as I have probably ridden less than 20 times since May.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good update (for the most part)!

Just as a forewarning...I apologize for being such a bad blogger. School is coming to close and I am running out to the barn at least twice a day to ice and walk Romeo. Life has gotten a little hectic and i kept meaning to blog about his re-check, but I just kept running out of time!

Romeo's ultrasound last Monday showed a whopping 20% decrease in thickness of his suspensory ligament where it is inflamed (which happens to be 5 cm distal to the chestnut)! I am so, so happy! I was so afraid he wouldn't have improved, especially since he is older and this is a hind suspensory after all. So we have continued with his Show Ready System, and the BoT wraps. They trotted him on concrete on a straight line and he was SOUND! Woohoo! Only 5 more months to go...although in about 3 weeks he can go outside in a 30'x30' pasture. We are going to be up to 40 minutes of walking in another 3 weeks as well and then we start trotting in hand. Boy, I bet that is going to be exciting. See below.


Yesterday...I was walking him, and he kind of spazzed. In his was windy and day 45 or so of entrapment, so I can understand where he was coming from...but I just don't appreciate hooves in my face. That is NOT my horse. I can't blame him though, so we gave him some Reserpine last night to see if that would help.

I feel like a bad mom. I came out to the barn to walk and ice as usual today around lunch and the poor little man was so sick. I should have known something was up when he didn't rush to the front of his stall and start yelling at me. Instead I got a little half-hearted whinny and just a little head turn.

 His stomach was SO upset (a side effect of Reserpine) and he was really crampy as well. I don't know if we will continue with the reserpine after this dose because of how bad the side effects were, but we will see.

Don't know if you can see how sucked up and crampy he was...but it was pitiful.

 So we gave him some Platinum Performance Bio-Sponge. It is supposed to be one of the best probiotics around. Actually, I have no clue what it really is, but it stopped him up for a while so I am happy with it. I just know it is for heavy duty uses. And believe me...this was heavy duty.

You can literally see the excitement oozing out.

We really did hold his head up and try hard to get it all in. I know it looks like a massive fail but seriously! We did get the majority of it in. He was not impressed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's Almost Time...

...for Romeo's first check up after his diagnosis with PSD (Proximal Suspensory Desmitis).

It has been 34 days since Romeo's official diagnosis. He has an appointment at MSU on Monday. To say I am nervous is putting it extremely lightly. I know hind end PSD doesn't have a very good prognosis, but I am hoping and praying and thinking positive thoughts that he will show some sort of improvement.

He's been pretty good on stall rest, and has only had been sedated 4 (I think?) times in the past month.

My family and I thought about this extensively, and we have decided that most likely we will not be doing surgery if he shows no improvement. If it were a life and death situation, I'd say "yes" in a heartbeat. However, I just don't want to put him through the risk if he will be pasture sound. I'm hoping it won't come to that point.

We are doing a couple of different things that I hope will be helping him heal.

1) Back on Track wraps: I know most of you know about these wraps, but they are filled with ceramic fibers that reflect the natural heat of the leg, increasing circulation, and hopefully increasing blood flow to the suspensory ligament, which naturally has a low blood supply. I wrap him in them every night.

"Do these wraps make my butt look big?"

2) Show Ready System: I had been reading about this product since he was diagnosed. It is similar to a Game Ready, and if you aren't familiar with the product, they are both ice therapy system with air compression. Essentially, it is easier to get the area colder when compression is applied. This particular system, in my opinion, is better than the Game Ready, although I haven't tried one.

Whereas the Game Ready must be plugged into a socket and the ice container and pump is on the ground, the Show Ready is strapped to the horse, making it mobile. Each side has it's on water/ice container and its own rechargeable battery, which carries up to a 6 hour charge I believe. I also love that you don't have to worry about getting hooves wet like you would with traditional ice boots.

I have been using it twice a day 30-45 minutes since Monday of this week, and so far I love it. I can simply tie him by his Freedom Feeder, and he is happy to eat while being iced (being tied is recommended so he can't chew on his tubing that connects the pump controlled on his back to the wraps). I put it on myself the other day, and WOW! It gets COLD! The compression was also very nice, it didn't cause any discomfort and it was actually kind of cool feeling. (No pun intended!) Did I mention it is 1/3 the price of a Game Ready? I did buy the wraps you see below as extra. The short utility boots are recommended for suspensory and tendon injuries. They come with full wraps that cover from the knee or hock to the hoof.

One Controller on each size-- I will get a better picture at some point.

I will update everyone next week! If anyone has any questions about BoT wraps or the Show Ready system, feel free to ask away!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It has arrived! My Hawk Trailer.

It's here!!!! It's here!!!! My  beautiful custom 2 horse has finally arrived :)

It came mom was there for delivery. It is beautiful and I can't wait to jump around in it (because I own it I can do that, you know).

We got a lot of custom options and I am just so happy with it!!!!! Let's hope my horses get in it.

Extra tall, long, and wide, diamond plates, reflector tape

black padding, adjustable butt and breast bars, loading light

extra tail lights, extra windows, full doors option with short ramp, recessed light switches

barred divider, bulkhead window, oscillating fan

full escape doors with drop down window on each side, tack room (with step) with carpeted wall and 3 saddle racks

I highly recommend Risa at Happy Trails Trailering! We ordered it from Tennessee from Risa in South Carolina, and it was made in Wisconsin and shipped straight to us :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Update: Bad news...

I took Romeo back to the vet on Friday because after recent blocks and fetlock injections, and prior to that hock injections, he is still not right. Actually, he has gotten more lame.

Video from Thursday:

We did a series of blocks on the left hind, and unfortunately, and it was sound after the high suspensory block. Then trotting he was way lame on the right hind after he felt better on the LH. Awesome.

So...we ultra-sounded and got some bad results. The left hind suspensory was scarred and had tiny tears about 3-4 inches down from the top of the suspensory in the body. Fortunately, he had no lesions. So he has proximal suspensory desmitis. He also has a suspensory strain in the right hind from trying to compensate from the left. Currently there is no heat or external swelling since it appears to be a chronic injury from ~5 months ago.

It appears he had some short term improvement after hock and fetlock injections because of the cortisone which is why he seemed better, and then got worse.

"Whatcha doin' back there?"
Since he has no lesions, he is not a candidate for Platelet Rich Plasma or Stem Cell Therapy. We are also not really a candidate for surgery, although his LH suspensory was described as "bulging." We are starting with 30 days of stall rest with two 5 min hand walks per day. I have a feeling he is going to need some reserpine after a few days.

The vets didn't recommend wrapping, NSAIDs, or ice therapy...

However I would like rehab to be as productive as possible and am looking into renting a Game Ready System and using his Back on Track no-bow wraps I had bought before we knew what was going on. I will discuss this with the vets, but I don't think it will hurt.

I am really, really bummed. However, I was actually rather relieved because we FINALLY figured out what was wrong. I don't have to worry about riding him and damaging him anymore. Thank goodness.

I am currently in Park City, Utah skiing. I didn't get home from the vet school (had to drive back to parent's house) until 9 pm Friday and we left Saturday morning. I am happy to be here...but I feel so bad for my little guy. We are willing to do whatever is necessary to get him to feel better. If you watch the video I posted above, you can see how unhappy he was to the left and his general lack to want to push. I feel bad :(

Deer Valley Ski Resort at Silver Lake

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's not that I don't want to blog...

It's that I don't have anything to talk about!

Romeo still isn't quite right. I'm starting to wonder if it is something higher up, but nothing in upper limb or sacral area palpated sore. He still sucks back changing directions to the left, and is missing his right to left lead change in the back end. We even got a neuro exam done to rule out EPM, but it appears he is negative. My mother reminded me yesterday about his jumping into the mare's paddock several times (~4'), and I'm wondering if maybe there is some inflammation somewhere that we just haven't been able to detect.

I want to say that we haven't jumped 10 fences since October of 2011, which is so disheartening, as he loves to jump. It's his favorite part of any ride.

From a couple weeks ago (he has good and bad days- a little stiff that day but wanted to play a bit):

Johnny turned 13 on Feb 28th, but since I was at school, I couldn't tell him Happy Birthday until I went home this weekend. He has been shedding out like crazy for the past couple weeks, but of course he is still hairy and really needs to be clipped before April for the show season.

Fuzzy wuzzy was a horse..

I am ever so grateful to the Smartpak gut health seminar for introducing me to the Freedom Feeder. Not only has it helped me SO much with Johnny, but I am so happy to be able to educate others about small hole hay nets, and how beneficial and easy they can be. I know I say that almost every post, but every time I come out to the barn and see Johnny snacking away on his net, I am so thankful for the health he is in. This is the first winter where he has stayed healthy over the entirety of the season. I am beyond blessed, and truly think FFs have a whole lot to do with his current health. We struggled for so many years trying to keep him alive and happy, and now I am just beside myself. We changed a lot of other things about his life as well, but I think constant and small amounts of forage are vital to a happy and healthy gut, especially his.

Still looking for answers with Romeo, but hopefully with enough help we will figure out what is wrong.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Christmas break was rather uneventful! My new business is in full swing now, and that combined with college has taken away my blogging time. So far, everyone seems to be loving their Freedom Feeders. I am so happy to be able to educate and help so many people! I've also never had any sort of business before, so I am enjoying that. It is all very low key, but I have sent out about 15 orders so far and it seems everyone has been pleased. Romeo has finally decided he loves his net, and Johnny has always been very attached to his.

If you are unfamiliar with Freedom Feeders, feel free to visit my facebook page:


So, back to my personal horses:

-Johnny is swell! I haven't done much with him, and he's a hairy beast, but he is a happy, healthy camper currently.

-Romeo...not so swell. He is lame again but I can't really figure out what is causing it. It doesn't feel like hocks anymore, so he goes back to MSU vet school for a full lameness exam on Friday.

He was doing so well over Christmas break, but when school started, I wasn't riding as much and he got about 2 weeks off. When I started back he got worse again. He has better and worse days, but there is still something definitely going on. Today when I was grooming him, I noticed swelling in the sacral area. If anyone has any clue what this is please let me know :)

Lovely, right?
I have only been trotting him about 5-10 minutes a day, just trying to keep him in some type of program. It was definitely warm. The other side has very minimal swelling if at all.


I also ordered a trailer! I read so many CoTH reviews on Risa and her Hawk Trailers, I just had to have one! That also meant that we needed to purchase a trailering vehicle. We ended up with a diesel Excursion, which we named Mr. Big.

I will be sure to take lots of pictures when the trailer  comes in! Should be in 3-4 weeks as it is custom. Extra tall, long and wide 2 horse, with a 5' dressing room, fan in horse area, extra tail lights, drop down windows, extra shoulder windows, etc. It will be so nice to just be able to go somewhere when I need to!


If all goes well and we figure out what is wrong with the Romes, our first planned event is at the end of March at Poplar Place in GA. He really enjoyed the course there this fall and I hope we can figure out what is bothering him.