August 24, 2015

Gemmie Update: Turned Out

According to the vet, Gem should only be out for 4 hours a day right now. I call rubbish on that. She has been out in her enlarged pony paddock now for nearly a month and has been doing well. Dusty went to pull Coggins on Pete Friday, or it could have been Thursday I really can't remember, and found Gem wrapped up in the garden hose. She had pulled a loop through the fence, had twisted it around her good leg and had the rest in her mouth swinging it around. Bored mare.  He freed her up and I lamented to poor Nicole (aren't you glad you became my friend??) about how she is trying to send me to an early grave.

Between that and her riding date only a week away, I thought it was high time to put her back out in the big pasture. The more energy she can work off before I get back on her the better.

Sunday afternoon was the day. We headed over in the afternoon with the plan of sending her out and sticking around a while to make sure she settled in. The herd has changed quite a bit in the two months since she has been out of the pasture with her best friend leaving and a few new additions. I wanted to make sure she would be ok.

You look suspicious Gemmie

Why must you reach over the fence to drink? Can't you be normal and walk around to the other side to drink safely? 
She followed me along her fence line all the way to the gate nickering quietly. She was never loving or vocal pre injury. I'm not sure if she now finally believes that I won't leave her or hurt her or if it was the extra time spent doing the bandaging and feeding or if she is just lonely, but our bond has most definitely solidified through all of this.

First stop was the trailer to check her leg out.

Very not happy with how tall her heel is growing in the stupid bar shoe, but the rub from the wrap is healing nicely and you can see how much new hoof growth has occurred. It has only been 3 weeks since the shoe went on. She will need short cycles in shoes. 

I couldn't be happier with how everything looks back here. No matter how bad the communication and outpatient care was, that surgeon did a darn good job in the OR. 

If you follow the scar from the back of her heel bulb in the natural arc it took you will see the vertical deformity/line in the hoof wall. This is what I am most concerned with growing out. It appears as though it may be a permanent thing which isn't unexpected since she damaged the periople (I think that is what the vet called it - the root of the hoof as such). The concern is that this may be a weak point prone to full length cracking and make barefoot not a very good option. Time will tell as the hoof wall grows out completely. 

You can also see the crack in the hoof wall. This is what I am waiting to grow out before attempting barefoot again. If it is going to crack, I want it to cause the least amount of damage when it does. Going to get her out of the bar shoe next weekend and into a regular shoe. Then watch as this area grows out. Once it is no longer in a critical portion of the hoof, I will switch her to the NG Easy Composite Shoe to begin frog loading and then try barefoot. 

Wyatt asked to get on her and when I took a step back I realized just how fat she has become on her medical leave. 
Once I was happy with my inspection (and coated her again in No Thrush) it was time to let her out. I will admit to being nervous. I am completely going against doctor's orders and there is a lot at stake, but she is determined to hurt herself in her boredom and everything looks so darn good. It was time.

As I untied her I got the brilliant idea to try to capture her movement by hand trotting her and having Dusty video it. As you saw from yesterday's teaser post, it really wasn't necessary but I didn't know that at the time. To say Gem was UP would be an understatement. She was telling me loud and clear that she was ready. She is moving perfectly sound at the moment which is a big relief.

As I walked her back out and past her pen she nearly pulled me to the gate to the mare pasture. I made her calm the poop down and listen like a good mare. With the gate closed behind us, I took off her halter and held my breath.

As the videos show, she took off to greet the mares only to find out that they were not who she thought they were. Whoops! Once she realized that, she came flying back to me just as fast and stayed behind me pacing while she snorted and checked out the herd from a far.

I laughed and told her that she just happened to meet the new comers, but that the boss mare and several others were still the same. I don't think she believed me.

Even with the shoes on, she has a beautiful heel first landing. Being barefoot for so long coupled with her living arrangement has helped her to develop this and is my hope of being able to get her back out of those shoes once again. 

Even fat, she is still the most gorgeous horse I have ever laid my eyes on.

Eventually I went and sat down half way between the gate and the mares who were at the very back of the pasture. I was hoping that she would chill out and decide to go meet them or that they would take an interest and come meet her. Neither happened and she settled in to graze peacefully behind me. I really enjoyed the warm early evening sun and peace of the farm and stayed there for 45 minutes.

It was my nephew's 5th birthday though and dinner was waiting. Time to be more pro active. I moved over to Gem and tried to get her to follow me over to the herd. She made it a quarter of the way and then beelined it back to the gate.

I apologized for abandoning her, but it was now apparent that as long as I stayed around she would have no interest in re joining the herd. This made my heart swell a thousand fold, believe me. My aloof mare who has never shown me much affection has finally, after 5 1/2 years, decided to let me in! Unfortunately, she can't come live inside my house and so she will need to learn to find her place once more in the herd. I left her with a big hug and a promise to return before dark to check on her.

When I returned, she was happily once again in with the herd. I would have loved to see if she went to them or they came to her. I am suspecting that they came to her because they were all now at the front of the pasture instead of the back. The other mares all pinned their ears when she walked around, but that should hopefully settle down once she finds her place. It will be interesting to see where she ends up. She always used to be bottom rung, but after her second 50 she came back with an attitude and became second in command. Time will tell.

As I left, the grassy lane looked so inviting. The gelding pasture is off to the right, the mares are behind the bushes on the left. This is a lovely hill going back up to the barn behind me to gallop on and Gem was just beginning to understand the glory of galloping under saddle when she got hurt. Someday soon.


  1. Favorite moment: Damnit Wyatt!

    She's looking awesome and although you think she's fat, I think she looks fantastic. I could see a hint of rib in a couple of the pictures and she has the sprung ribs and wide back Arabians are supposed to have. I will concede that she could use miles to help tighten her abdomen, but I don't think she needs to lose weight to lose weight. But, I can not bare a ribby horse. That's just me.

    1. Everything is harder with a toddler involved.

      She looks heavier in real life versus the pictures. Even my BO who likes every horse heavy made a comment about how fat she looked. I think a lot of it is just loss of her muscle tone and not really actual fat build up. Once she gets toned again she will be looking sexy. I agree - I do not like ribby horses and I tend to keep her at a comfy 6 on the BCS.

  2. I am *thrilled* to be your friend and I really do mean that. ;) I wish Dusty had gotten a pic of her with the hose! It is a hilarious mental picture, especially now that we know her good leg is fine! Haha

    I agree with Karen: I would LOVE for Lily to be at Gem's weight right now! I see a hint of rib in some pics too, which to me says she is right at a body score of 5/9 or 5.5/9. She's a beautiful girl, and I just love those videos of her galloping in the field.

    1. I do too! He isn't much of a picture taker though and was really worried she would fall over and hurt herself if he stopped to snap a picture. Would have been great too see.

      Gem rests nicely at a 6/9 and I think most of her pudge is really just loss of muscle tone versus actual adipose tissue. She should be sexy again once she regains her muscle tone with work.

  3. She looks GREAT!! And hey! I recognize that shirt. ;-)

    I also laughed a LOT when Wyatt ran off and Dusty took off after him. hehehe