Thursday, December 20, 2012
On the 4th Day of Abscess, My True Love...
On the 4th day of abscess, my true love gave to me a horse that actually cantered. Shhhhhh. Don't tell the vet. I'm supposed to keep her quiet while she's healing, but I let her out so she could lay in the sand, and then Bombay started teasing her and encouraging her to chase him. She did. She can trot and canter beautifully, but she still pulls her head up and limps at the walk. The true test will be how she moves when she's off the Bute.
K.K. suggested that I soak her hoof in one of those round rubber trays with low walls instead of a bucket. My son and I had to go out to buy some food for him now that he's at home for Christmas break, so I stopped at the feed store, my third trip there this week, and found that they did carry rubber feed pans of all sizes. I picked up one that wouldn't require too much water for her Epsom salt soaks and introduced it to her.
She backed away. I tossed it down by her foot. She jumped in the air. I tied her up and got all the poultice supplies out of the trailer along with some treats, put the treats in the pan and fed them to her. Suddenly she had no qualms with that pan. I wore it on my head and tried to get her to wear it on hers, but she kept raising her head to look inside it to see if there were anymore treats.
Then I picked up her foot and set it down inside the pan. I quickly distracted her with treats in my hand and she stood in the pan a good long time. When I got busy with other things, she backed up and the tray got stuck on her foot. She startled a bit, but then relaxed quickly once she shook it off her hoof. I tried to get her to step forward into the tray on her own. I had to guide her leg, but she didn't fight it. So, we are through the phase of having her stand in a dry pan.
Next time I'll work on getting her foot into a wet pan. I think I'll start out with just water, so if she spills it I won't lose all that salt right away. I think I might try clicker training to train all of the horses to step in a pan of water since I now know that most of them will have to do it anyway at some point in their lives.