Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Nothing gold can stay

I know, I spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about my grumpy old mare. But here I am again, worrying.

Cersei really needed to get out of the house, so after I voted I took her out to the field. Oddly I didn't want to ride. Too ... warm? It was like 73 and sunny and lovely, but I just wasn't feeling it. So I brought a book, and some sweet feed, and let Cersei amuse herself while I read and watched my horses.

(Yeah, sweet feed. I am well aware that it's the equivalent of Snickers and Coke for horses, but what the hell. I am feeding #50 about every three months right now, so it's not like it's their diet. And none of them are metabolically challenged.)

Anyway, because I wasn't rushing around brushing and saddling and talking to people, I was really watching them. Champ is absolutely fine. But Silky isn't moving well. She's covered in thick dappled shiny fur, she's at a good weight, and she seems alert and happy. But she moves VERY slowly. I stayed out for about an hour, watching her and gently moving her around, and I think her back legs just hurt.

It's not her hooves. They look ok, and she lands flat when she walks. It's not soft tissue, because she doesn't mind me touching her legs and they're not inflamed. But she pops like bubblewrap when she moves her back legs at all.

I think - I'm not good with lameness, especially not on uneven ground at liberty - but I think she moves her rear legs a little more OUT than a normal horse. Kinda bowlegged in the back. And I am sure that she's careful and deliberate when she shifts her weight around. She'll move a rear leg and set the hoof down, wait a second, then weight the hoof and move another leg. None of the other horses out there, old or young, have that pause before they weight a hoof.

I could've haltered her and taken her to the round pen and done some walk work in either direction. But I don't think I'd have seen the same thing - she gets noticeably fearful very easily if she's handled or confined, and fear -> endorphins -> masking pain.

I'm wondering what to do... or more precisely, when it's time. I'm all for aggressive intervention when there's a good chance of success or even better long term quality of life, but I don't think that's really available here. She's not all that old, I don't think, but CHF isn't really treatable, and bute might fix the leg problems but it's not a long term solution either, and what it really boils down to is that she does not look unhappy. She looks old and tired and achy, but not tense and in horrible pain. Food makes her happy, and sunshine and Champ, and scritches from me.

I guess when she doesn't look fat and shiny and happy, I will call the vet and see what my options are. I hope I have years more of grumbling about my pasture potato, I really do. Stupid old bat.


  1. I LOVE to watch horses turned out together. I used to watch the carriage horses I used to drive for hours. I knew who got along, who was tough when their buddy was around but a wimp when they were gone, who started fights they couldn't finish, etc...
    Sorry to hear your old girl seems a little achy.

  2. Oh, be thinking of you with her..you're a good horse mom!

  3. Hey Funder, do you have her on any type of a joint supplement? Maybe some MSM, Glucosamine, and Chondrotins?The MSM helps with pain and inflamation, while the Chon. and Glu. help lubricate joints and ease pain and stiffness.

    Just a thought. Hope she has a good one for you!


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