When I last left Gem she was happily and safely tucked into her small pony paddock with my portable electric fencing. According to barn staff she didn't stay happy for long and soon began cantering circles, leaping, bucking and rearing for most of every afternoon. In addition, and even worse in my opinion, she learned that the tape was easily knocked down and she was then able to open up the paddock into a more suitable size for Queen Bee. Crap.
Options at the barn are limited, but workable. The best scenario, in my mind, was to let her out with the three crippled geldings in the arena pasture. It is larger than I want, but the next smallest on property at about 10 acres. The geldings are harmless and the fencing is in good repair. She could have room, friends and hopefully no accidents. The BO was happy to do so, but those geldings are on borrowed time and he was really worried that any added stress (such as an unruly Arab mare on medical leave) could tip them over the edge. He was willing to try it if we could be present for an entire afternoon to watch her and pull her if she riled them up.
It was very nice of him to allow this, but in the end I decided against it. I would feel awful if Gem was the reason one of those geldings had to be put down. I couldn't risk it.
That was a week ago and both the last I had seen her and had heard of her shenanigans.
This past Sunday we loaded up and headed out to see what state I would find her in. The barn staff was there and I saw that they had opened up the second half of her pen to make a larger area for her. This basically doubled the size of her paddock. Gem was sedately munching on grass in the new area. The tape was completely torn down with stakes laying in a mess all over the place on the other half. Miss Gemmie had clearly shown her displeasure of the original set up. She was looking shiny, fat as all get out and perfectly pleased with herself. barn staff confirmed that since they opened the other half, she calmed right down.
I grabbed her halter, scolded her for being such a PIA and lead her to the trailer to take a close look at her.
Her right hoof is looking the same: tight, painless, scarred in well. The hoof wall is cracking at the injury point, but nothing alarming and will just have to be monitored as it grows. All swelling has resolved to her other legs as well. As I walked her, I watched for any hints of lameness and saw none.
The palmer hoof itself was a mess though. The bar shoe just plain sucks. I HATES it. it traps everything in it and she has a massive case of thrush now. I scraped and chipped away a lot of it, noted how her heel is already contracting quite a bit and cursed the shoe a ton. The hoof was covered in No Thrush Powder, my favorite thrush remedy, and I moved on to her front left.
It was much better than the right since it only has a regular shoe, but still I could already see the years of being barefoot washed away as the heel is contracting and the frog is getting weak. I HATES it. Have I mentioned that?
Gemmie got walked to the barn and I lamented to Dusty. Couldn't I just pull the shoes? Pretty please? No, I can't. Sigh. She will remain in the bar shoe for 3 more weeks (6 weeks total) then I will switch it to a regular shoe until I can't take it anymore. Probably next late spring.
I trotted her in hand a little ways back out to her paddock and she trotted very sound. A good sign indeed.
2 more weeks until I can ride my fat pony again. 2 more weeks until I can decide if I want her kept where she is or put back in with the other mares. 2 more weeks. Just 2 more weeks.