Saturday, March 21, 2015

Zora's Health Challenge: The Diagnosis

So we went to the vet for a chiropractic adjustment. She asks the questions, takes a look at Zora in the exam room, and then asks John to walk her so she can watch. She had a veterinary student there - the student was doing her internship. She took the student aside and was talking very intently to her and gesturing at Zora -- pointing and such. When John and Zora got back to us the vet says,

"I have no doubt in my mind this horse has EPM."

My head started spinning, my knees got weak and I thought I was going to faint. I thought EPM was a death sentence. I said to the vet, "Oh my God, she is going to die?" The vet told me no, that she could be treated. I felt 1,000 times better.

So she explained the disease to us, the course of treatment and possible outcomes. She said some horses never fully recover, and some do but have recurrences of it from time to time. It takes a long time to recover from EPM -- months in fact. But the fact that it was treatable made all the difference.

So we started on getting her through this. A round of intense medicine for one month -- the strongest they have - Marquis paste. Thankfully Zora is a sweetheart for any type of medication or vaccines you give her be it paste or injections. She just stands perfectly still for it. Unlike when John is trying to get in the saddle, then she wants to walk in circles! But she is great for medicine.

So we started on the treatment and rehab.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Zora's Health Challenge: Initial Vet Opinion

We were pretty freaked out by what happened that day -- Zora lost her back end while out on a ride and drug herself for a few steps. So of course we called the vet. She was checked out which included a neurological assessment, and nothing seemed alarming. She did seem to react to pressure on her hip area. Possible stifle joint problem? Let her rest, keep an eye on her, and only short rides for a while until we get to the bottom of it.

We were advised to get a chiropractor, and one was recommended to us. He has a very good reputation and is both a human and equine chiropractor. However, he is also very busy so it is best to reach him by text.

John texted him, his reply suggested a weeknight appointment at his house which is a couple hours drive from where we live. John asked if we could work something else out as we are both employed full time. To this day we have not received a reply.

We were going to the Dunes to meet some friends for a ride on a Saturday a couple of weeks after the incident. As it happened, our friend was having trouble getting her horse to go out on the trail so we had only gone a short distance and decided to turn back. John said Zora didn't feel quite right. We took her back to the trail head/parking lot area. John walked her and all of us watched and sure enough, she was dragging her back feet a bit.

Now we are really concerned. Something is going on with this horse. Since we could not get the chiropractor we had an idea -- there is a vet in our area who used to be the vet for the nearby harness racing tracks. She is very good with musculoskeletal problems so we made an appointment with her hoping she could do a chiropractic adjustment.

So we got an appointment.......

(John and Zora before all this started)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Zora's Health Challenge - The Beginning

It started the first weekend of May, 2014. At least that is when it started for us. We're pretty sure it had been going on for a while, but we were completely unaware until that Saturday ride in May.

We had a nice, uneventful ride. We even saw one of my former co-workers and his family, which was just fantastic. His children were completely in awe of the horses, as children usually are. We left them and started back for home.

Going over the toll road bridge something surprising, frightening, and bewildering happened. Divna and I were behind John and Zora (as usual), when suddenly Zora's back end just dropped! The best way I can describe it is that she appeared to be instantly paralyzed. In true Zora fashion, she didn't stop walking! She was just dragging her back legs! It was horrible.......

John knew something had happened, but by the time he got her stopped and dismounted, she had drug herself at least six or seven steps. We were scared to death! We stood there on the toll road bridge, checked her out as best we could and finally decided all we could do was walk the remaining two miles home.

She actually left skidmarks on the road from her hoofs being scraped off onto the pavement.

She skinned up both back shins, the left one worse than the right. and rubbed her hoofs down a layer or two.

Needless to say we were freaked out. We gave her bute and treated the injuries as best we could. A call to the vet was made.....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Divine Intervention? Difficult Repair!!!

A week ago we decided to go for a night ride. It was a beautiful night -- snow on the ground, snow falling, and stars. It had to be a short ride (for reasons I'll explain in another post) so we were just going on the trails on our property, and then on the lane that circles our general area.

No sooner had we gotten onto our trails, than Zora started acting up. In getting her under control John noticed the clip on one of his reins was broken. Of course that changes everything, so back to the barn we go.

When unsaddling, I noticed that one of MY reins was also about to break -- the leather strap had come unhooked from its clasp and was barely hanging on.

To me this meant that we were prevented from taking that ride for some reason. I'm not questioning it or complaining about the tack issues!

Last night we finally had a chance to do the rein repairs. Has anyone out there had experience with this type of clasp?

I HATE these things! They are so very difficult to work with! They just WILL NOT BUDGE when you are trying to work with them, and they are an absolute nightmare to get back together, I am wondering if there is a trick to them?

And so this is what John  ended up with -- original clasp at the bottom, our repair at the top. Had to use the clasps we had on hand! Looks strange, I know, but as long as it works!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Easy Boot Epics -- For Sale or Trade

Well, we couldn't figure out why Zora could not keep her Easy Boots on. Divna has never had a problem, but when we get into a lope, Zora's come off.

At first we thought we were not putting them on properly. But after it happened for the 4th time, we realized they are just too big for her.

So, we need to sell/trade them. They are a size 2 and we need size 1. We paid $80/each, and are asking $40/each (and buyer pays shipping). We would trade for size 1.

Low mileage -- They have only been used on 4-5 rides, never more than 10 miles per ride.

Anyone out there know anyone who needs to buy or trade? If so, give them this e-address:

Thanks a million!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Partners In Crime

She looks sweet and innocent, right?

Yesterday we were outside doing some yard work. We had left the barn doors open for two reasons:

  1. We no longer have goats, so we don't have to worry about closing doors as much as we used to. The goats would get into everything.
  2. We wanted to hear the Serbian music playing from the CD player in the barn.
We were working away, and then suddenly we heard a loud "Bang" sound. We looked at each other and both said "What the heck was that?" We quickly reasoned the wind must have blown one of the barn doors shut.

About 30 seconds later we heard the same sound again and looked at each other with puzzled expressions on our faces. Then a few seconds later we heard it yet again, but this time, we made that mental connection.

Amazing how we thought the same thing at the same time......

We both knew what it was. I volunteered to go check it out. The noise was coming periodically now. As I got close to the barn, I could see a horse's nose sticking out of the access door.

Quietly, I walked up to that door, and sure enough there was Zora, using her big head to try to lift the top of the grain storage box, and Divna was standing at the door as the lookout.

I can just hear their conversation:
Zora: "Divna, I think I can get into that grain box. You and I can have a special treat!"
Divna: "Really? That would be awesome!"
Zora: "You stand guard and watch for John or Regina while I get the box open."
Divna: "Sure, Zora. Whatever you say."

Zora could lift the lid a bit, but not enough. Divna was a poor choice for lookout as she only has one eye, and it was her blind side that was closest to the door.

I said "What are you two doing??" and they jumped about six inches, turned and ran out of the barn. I could see it on their faces that they knew they were caught, and that I took them by surprise.

I am sure Zora yelled at Divna for not watching good enough.

Don't let anyone tell you that animals don't think or reason.....

P.S. This also reveals the flaw in our thinking (see #1 above)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

MISHO - 1 1/4 Year later

We lost Misho one year and three months ago today. I still miss him.....

Here is a remembrance of him in pictures.

He was a character......

The barnyard is too quiet without the goats. Rest peacefully, my sweet Misho.