Sunday, January 13, 2008

Grace is certainly feeling well!

Grace has settled in really well at the new yard. Her appetite has certainly returned, but we did have some issues getting some hard feed into her because she kept turning her nose up at it! Before she went away to Leahurst she was on Dengie’s Healthy Hoof and her supplements (Cortaflex and MSM for her ligament). I do not know whether horse’s brains work in the same way as ours and relate certain tastes to events, but as soon as I put the Healthy Hoof in she was not interested in the slightest. I was a bit worried she was not interested, so also put a bucket of Alfa A in which she wolfed it down.

Gradually I have been swapping her on to the Alfa A and she does seem to be eating it all... I have also added some TopSpec Balancer to her feed so she gets all the vitamins and minerals she needs and she went onto Coligone while she was at the YEC. To encourage her to eat, Dengie suggested trying her with some Alfa Beat too which seems to be helping.

I feel as though I have turned into a completely paranoid owner though. I just hope when she is back fit and well, life might restore to normality. I am meeting myself going backwards at the moment, and seem to be spending far too much time at the yard! Grace has to be walked at least twice for 15-20 minutes and have some grass. We started by walking up and down the drive and getting some grass that way, but she was too busy being nosy to eat. The yard owner offered me a small field where I could hand graze her which has made a real difference. She will now eat constantly for 15 minutes without lifting her head.

Her ligament still needs some exercise though, so I have been taking her for some grass and then walking her for a further 10 minutes on the drive. However, last night this really did not go to plan! Grace started squeeling and bucking to the point where she was doing handstands... I was so worried about her pulling her scar or even worse causing some damage to the internal scarring. She did three bucks in a row and I managed to get her back walking forwards but then she set off again and was passaging at the side of me. I was wincing just thinking about her tummy, but I couldn’t escape the fact that she looked absolutely beautiful!

Her scar was a little warm when I brought her back in, but when my husband Andy checked her an hour later she was munching her haylage and very content... I just had to check she was still ok though!

This morning I was ready for a repeat of last night. Armed with my Richard Maxwell halter we did things a little differently and went straight for some grass rather than walking for a while. She behaved impeccably having the grass, and even leading her back from the field she did not pull or get worked up. I decided to take her into the arena because I am worried that one day I will not be able to hold her on the path and she will get away from me. At least in the arena it is only a 40mx20m area, whereas there are several 20 acre fields she can get in on the lane!

As we walked into the arena she erupted, but I calmly asked her to halt with the pressure halter, step backwards one stride and then we carried on. We walked in the arena for around 10 minutes, and although there were several moments when she felt as though she was going to stress, I just applied the pressure and she halted abruptly. So I was very pleased with her because it was much better than last night. Ideally she should be walked on a hard surface for her ligament, but I am going to speak to Peter Scholefield about taking her in the arena, and also to book her in for the final scan on the ligament.

Although her silliness had me panicking and worried, it made me realise how athletic she really is. If she moves like that four weeks after surgery, what will she be like when she is fit again... I am determined to get her to the highest level she can achieve, no matter what it takes!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

She is home!

It has been almost a month since Grace was at home, but this morning Andy and I set off to pick her up! I could not sleep at all last night because I was incredibly excited and was pacing the house at 5am... At least I had time to get some breakfast, a cup of tea and the ride Hannah before we left the yard.

We got to the YEC at 11.30am and Grace went straight to the back of the stable as she always does when she sees her travel boots. We loaded her and she was a bit hesitant again, but got the hang of it eventually. However, she travelled perfectly and did not look fazed at all when I unloaded her at the new yard.

Grace went straight in her stable and started smelling her turnout rug that was on the pole in her stable. As soon as she had established some of the things in there were hers she started wickering for haylage and delved in as soon as Andy put some in for her... Her appetite has certainly returned which is a good sign!

The farrier arrived about forty minutes after we did and she behaved impeccably while he put some new shoes on for her and she stood getting some sun on her back at the same time. I wanted to get some fresh air to her skin because she has come up in little lumps which have now turned into scabs. I remember she had them when she came to me last November and went as soon as she had been clipped. So I think it is something to do with being hairy!

She is now tucked up in her lovely fluffy bed and I cannot wait to see her in the morning. Hearing that distinctive whinny today when I was walking around on the yard just made me feel so grateful that I have her back, I have really missed that noise!