Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"But I Don't Wanna . . .!" and Dawn's Neck

Today I had planned to ride Dawn (again) but when I brought her in, her neck was very swollen where she'd been stung by wasps (I think) earlier this week - she came in about four days ago with four big welts on the left side of her neck.  The next day the swelling was gone, but over the next several days her skin seemed irritated - little bumps - and there was some odd black scruffy stuff coming up although her hair was still fine.  I washed her with some EQyss shampoo and the next day put on some EQyss spray.  This morning she looked fine, but this afternoon when I brought her in the left side of her neck was very swollen.  There was a large round swelling at the top, where some of the original swelling had been, but below that was a large swelling - the size of a piece of notebook paper - all ridged and puckered, and running down to her shoulder and chest.  It also seemed hot to me and she was ouchy.

I called the vet.  They advised cold hosing, which I did, and some bute tonight and tomorrow morning, and some hydrocortisone cream for the scruffy areas at the top.  So far she's eating and drinking well and seems comfortable, and has no temperature, but if the swelling hasn't gone down by tomorrow the vet will come take a look to be sure we've not got a secondary infection - after all, Dawn's the master of mysterious illnesses.  I'll go back this evening to be sure the swelling hasn't gotten worse - if it does I'll have the vet come right away.

* * * * * *
Drift and I had a good work session, but we had to work through some things.  When I first got him, anytime we trotted he would try to break to canter.  I think he did that because his prior owner was afraid to canter him and would stop working him when he did it - he's a smart little horse and a bit on the lazy side.  We worked through that, starting at the clinic, and now he trots well and (mostly) willingly whenever I ask.  Today we started our canter work again - and Drift tried to say "but I don't wanna . . .!"  When I asked for canter, I got some balking and some propping (which is basically refusing to move forwards), but when I persisted, he would canter.  We did a number of departures, and I got some canters on both leads that went the length of the ring - he tends to drop out of canter whenever he can.  For our last round, he cantered the length of the ring, tried to break out of canter, I got him back into it and we rounded the corner and kept going for the length of the ring again.  I called that a success, and stopped him and got off and praised him.

I see more cantering - lots more cantering - in our future.  After a while it'll be routine, just like the trot.  Drift's a smart little horse, who will try some things on to see if he can avoid work, but he's basically pretty willing.

* * * * * *
All three horses got to meet a gentleman in a motorized wheelchair who was passing by the barn - Dawn ignored him, Drift put his head over the fence to say hi, and Pie got to sniff him all over and follow the wheelchair as it headed away.  The man in the wheelchair appreciated the opportunity to be close to the horses, and we all benefitted from the training opportunity.

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