Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Damnit Chimi!

This past month has seriously been the month from hell.

Originally I had plans to go to the Heart of the Carolina 3 day but when Chimi came up lame exactly 30 days before we were supposed to trot up at the 3 day I decided to just do the Horse Trials that weekend instead. Then we had the eventful dismount at jump 1 at FENCE HT and I decided to scratch the HOTC Horse Trials because it seemed like Chimi and I needed to go back to the drawing board and get ourselves back on track before entering another show. Damn it Chimi.

Mom puts embarrassing hats on me that don't quite fit my long ears...

Since FENCE HT I've actually been enjoying just trail riding Chimi. We had 2 really nice rides with Sara and Trainer J and I had the PERFECT solo ride out on the trails by my house. Seriously. I came back from that ride with the biggest smile on my face because it was so pleasant and WONDERFUL. And the cherry on top was our pony club had scheduled a cross country schooling at FENCE with Trainer J and I was sooooo looking forward to conquering Jump 1 and playing around the rest of the course. But alas, Chimi had other plans. Damn it Chimi.

I didn't get to see my ponies in the daylight hours last Monday or Tuesday because I had to go to step daughter's makeup soccer games that had been rained out the week before. No worries, the ponies were quite happy to be out longer on the grassy front field.  Chimi was fine Monday and Tuesday morning but that evening I noticed he looked a bit sore walking in to the barn when he came in for dinner. I made note but had to finish getting everyone else fed to because it was already 9pm and we ALL wanted to eat dinner and be done with the day. From the dim lights of my barn I could tell there wasn't any blood or flapping skin so whatever was going on couldn't be that bad. I headed back up to the house to grab a flashlight but didn't feel the need to hurry.

After grabbing my flashlight from the house I headed back down to the barn to check Chimi's legs. They were nice and tight and just as normal as they always are. I looked down at his hoof and thats when I saw it. A giant crack had appeared on the inside of his left hind near the bulb of his heel. It went almost all the way up to his cornet band and was very sore when I pushed on it. Damn it Chimi.

WTF giant crack?!?!??!

There wasn't really anything I could do at that moment so just left him to eat in his pasture and texted my farrier the next morning. He made plans to come out as soon as I was off work and would trim off the hangnail. Once he got there and started trimming he looked at me and said "This goes a lot deeper than I thought. You might actually want to get a vet to look at it because I can't trim any further without cutting into the soft tissue. I'm not a vet so I don't do the blood and puss" Damn it Chimi.

Farrier trimmed the edge off. You can see the line goes in towards his frog and more up into his hoof.

Unfortunately it was to late to call the vet unless it was an emergency and this was not emergency status. I wrapped his foot and treated it like an abscess and planned to call the vet in the morning. The next day I called the vet, scheduled an appointment, and off we went to see what was up.

Chimi was still a bit sore on his foot but noticeably better so that was good news. Dr P. was pleased with how farrier had trimmed it so far, but he agreed that it went a lot deeper and wanted to clean it out to prevent it from abscessing and taking a lot longer to heal. Poor Chimi was NOT happy with this so they blocked his left hind and Dr. P got to cutting. Chimi was good until the vet hit the super soft tissue and he started bleeding but by that point Dr P felt like he had trimmed away enough of the hoof that had split. I asked him what he thought caused the crack and he had no real idea. Lots of possibilities, including an abscess that blew out and weakened the hoof enough to cause the crack or he just stepped on a rock at the right angle out in his pasture. Basically it was caused by Chimi being a horse. Damn it Chimi
After the vet cut down to the squishy part (oh and his abscess from the fall grew out and took a chunk out of his toe, foot looking a bit janky right now)

Overall it was a fairly simple visit to the vet. My orders were to keep it wrapped and clean and in 4-5 days he needed a bar shoe put on to stabilize the hoof so it could heal. Without a shoe every time he took a step his hoof would spread and cause the crack to get worse or prevent it from healing as quickly. Unfortunately my farrier had just left for Europe (farriers need vacations too, I guess...). Thankfully he was still in NY at that moment and was able to send me the names of 2 farriers that he recommended to put the shoes on Chimi. Woohoo. My horse who had been barefoot for 4.5 years had just gone from no shoes to 4 shoes in a month. Damn it Chimi.

rocking the gorilla tape and vetwrap look

So Friday morning I rewrapped Chimi's hoof, gave him a kiss on his nose, told him to be good, and off I went to volunteer at the Heart of the Carolina's 3 day Event and Horse Trials. I figured if Chimi couldn't go I could at least go and see what it was all about!!! There's a lot to write about it but overall I had the BEST time and OMG everyone needs to do a long format. More on this in a later post :)
The first jumps on course! Up close they are really pretty and say Southern 8's on them

After having a great weekend, Monday rolled around and Chimi got his new shoes. New farrier came out and ended up putting a bar shoe AND pour in pads. New farrier looked at the hoof and thought that it looked like he had an abscess that had blown out and caused the crack to then form so that's my new story on why this happened. It's not like I had just transitioned Chimi to barefoot, he's been fine for 4.5 years!!!! And hell probably longer for his back feet b/c when I got him he only had front shoes. So who the hell knows. It's horses.
New kicks

The good news is my horse is sound. The bad news is I can't ride him for at least a month so his hoof can grow back. It'll a lot longer than a month for the crack to completely grow out but the vet and farrier thought that enough hoof SHOULD of grown out that in about a month I could start riding. Obviously I won't know until a month has passed if enough hoof has grown to support riding, but Chimi does grow hoof fairly quickly so I'm hoping.

our crowning glory from the 1 show we went to this spring

So this is pretty much the story of how my spring season came to an end. Damn it Chimi.

In the grand scheme of things it's nothing long term and serious so we should be back at it eventually. Hopefully. After all it's horses we're dealing with here!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Team Bay All the Way

Last week I mentioned going on a hunter pace with Sara and her Trainer J. I didn’t get a chance to blog about the actual ride but basically we all had a great time and made plans to ride in the Hunter Pace this past weekend. Unfortunately bc of a lot of rain Monday, Tues, and again on Thurs, the hunter pace was sadly cancelled :(

Team Bay all the Way!!!

But the sad news did not deter the three of us from riding! Instead we rerouted to Croft State Park where Sara was very familiar with the trails. Plans were made to meet there at 11 on Sunday and have a lovely stroll through the woods.

Or at least Sara claimed to know the trails... hahahahaha!!!

Sunday rolled around and I left my house just a few minutes late but still close to being on time to get to Croft. Hahahahaha. Joke was on me bc what I thought was a 40 minute drive really took a solid hour so I was running reeeeeeeaally late… I felt pretty bad about that but Chimi already had his saddle on so it was pretty easy to just putting his bridle on and get going. 

Once I finally got on (Chimi was questioning a rock by the picnic table I used as a mounting block) we headed down the road to the backside of the park where Sara said the trails were sandy and not as many people would be there. We just had to go down the road for a bit but it wasn’t that bad. Chimi somehow ended up in the front and we attempted to lead the way.

One of the lakes we passed

I can’t help but laugh at Chimi bc he is a really lazy horse. On the way down the road he kept trying to turn around and go back to the trailer but I kept kicking him forward. He does this at home too when we first head out on the trails. HE'll protest and complain and do his best to turn around and go home, but once he gets out and we start working he enjoys himself and is happy to trot and canter around. But I totally feel it… getting motivated to work out is really hard!

We got to the part where the trail peels off from the road and meanders through the woods. The footing was hit or miss at first and it'd be dry for a bit but then we'd hit a low spot and you could tell that it had rained a lot the past week. No worries though, the horses tromped through the muck well enough (though sometimes they protested) and we had such a nice start to the ride. The 3 horses seem to be a really good match and if one protested another felt brave enough to lead the way.

On the trail we did run across various hikers with their dogs and other horses. Chimi was a bit wary about them but carried on and didn't think to much about them after we passed. We were having such a lovely time trotting along the trails and talking about nonsense and ponies. Then the Devil Train appeared.


We were about 4ish miles into our lovely ride when we ran into a train of mules heading towards us on the trail. Chimi was in the lead and when he saw those creatures he lost his shit. And when i say he lost his shit, i really do mean he LOST his shit! Chimi was in the lead so he was the first to see the mules and slammed on the brakes. He then started backing up and saying HELL NO. DO YOU SEE THEM DEVIL EARS????? Thankfully Gem and Elliot could care less about the mules so the snuck past us on the trail to hopefully lead the way. Except that Chimi was so freaked out he didn't care that his friends were ahead of him. Thankfully the trail was much wider here than the single track we had been on because I really don't think I could of gotten him past the mules if we had met anywhere else on the trail. At one point I tried to stuff Chimi in the woods and let them walk by but he was having none of that and tried to take off through the trees where there wasn't a trail. Finally when about half the mule train had passed us I was able to steer Chimi in the direction of Gem and Elliot and he took off towards his friends and we left the Devil Train behind us.

After our encounter with the mules Chimi was not the same. Every time we saw a group of horses Chimi just KNEW they were the mules in disguise and were going to torture him and probably eat his ears because that's how they get those giant ears right? Thankfully we didn't run into that many horses on the trail so for the most part we were able to have a nice ride back to the barn. We did get lost a couple of times but one of those times was on a really nice straight, wide path so we were able to have a really nice trot and canter until we realized no one had been down that trail, umm possibly ever. After consulting with the map we realized we were headed out of the park and turned around to find the actual trail back. Whoops :)

You can see where we got lost. The extra line up top was from us having to backtrack  :)

All in all we had such a nice ride! The weather was perfect and it was so fun to follow behind Gem. She is a beast on the trails and would fly down the trails while Chimi and Elliot would stumble and bumble behind her. The boys might be over 17h but little 15+h Gem left us in her dust. The past 2 rides with Sara have been so eye opening because she talked about endurance riding and the do's and don'ts and conditioning plans, and theory, and honestly I am amazed at how much thought goes into endurance riding. I honestly could listen to her talk about endurance all day because I found it so fascinating!!!!
The milage isn't correct b/c the GPS tracking wasn't working when we first got started

After we got back to the trailers, we hosed off our ponies, had a last laugh and called it a day. Even though it wasn't quite the ride we had originally planned, it ended up being just perfect!!! (except for the mules. They were not perfect. They were DEVILS in disguise if you ask Chimi!)