Updates on all of us for the past year:
1. Dawn - as you may remember, Dawn retired to Paradigm Farms in Tennessee a little over a year ago. She has settled in very well - she has lots of friends, is eating well and seems very happy. Her teeth are holding up OK for now - she gets twice-yearly dental checkups - and she's on a special feeding program over the winter to help her hold her weight.
2. Norman, Lily and Maisie - my three older retirees at Paradigm are also doing fine. Norman and Lily are approaching 30, and Maisie is in her mid-20s. All three have Cushings/PPID and are on a regular program of medication and body-clipping, which keeps them comfortable and healthy.
3. Pie - has just turned 11 and just keeps getting better. He looks great and our rides are a pleasure. We had a bit of a scare about a month ago - he came down with a high fever (up to 104) that just wouldn't come down, and he stopped eating and drinking. He had no other symptoms - no cough or nasal discharge or anything else. Poor fellow was miserable and dejected, and to see the normally big-eating and drinking Pie not touching his food or water was very alarming. Over a period of four days, we had two vet visits, then he spent two days and nights at the vet hospital, and was rehydrated twice with IV fluids. Then his fever disappeared as mysteriously as it had come on. He was tested for all sorts of things - EHV-1 and 4, flu, Lyme and Potomac, but all the tests came back negative. It's likely he had one of the other rhinos or some other virus but we'll never know for sure. It's also unclear how he caught it, since no other horse in the barn was ill and he hadn't travelled anywhere. He lost a lot of weight and needed time to recover, so he's had two weeks off from work. He's been eating up a storm and had a lot of energy when we started back to work.
4. Red - is now 16, and is his same opinionated, vocal, fiery self. A while after recovering from his (second) case of EPM last fall, he managed to somehow injure his right front foot in turnout. He came in from turnout one day barely able to walk - our first thought was abscess as there was no heat or swelling in the leg. The inner back area of his hoof wall was hot. But we thought maybe it wasn't an abscess, either - he was happy to weight bear on the foot - he'd stand on it just fine - but he couldn't walk on it. Although his paddock is frequently dragged to level it and break up the manure (another sign of how good my barn management is), we think he twisted it on a day when there'd been mud that got chopped up and then froze. After a week with little improvement, the vet came out to rule out a coffin bone fracture - there was none but the digital x-rays showed signs of hematoma in the foot, likely due to a soft tissue injury inside the foot. We didn't bother to do any more tests, since the treatment would be the same - put him on a short course of Equoxx, keep him out of work until he was sound at the trot and then bring him back slowly. This being Red, stall rest was not an option. It took about two months before we started riding again, but after a detour for ulcer treatment - he showed this by being snappish, sore during grooming and very spooky under saddle - he's now sound, happy and working really, really well.
5. Missy - is who knows what age - I'm guessing mid to late teens. She's been on again off again unsound due to her ongoing hock fusion. But she's the sweetest thing ever, and we've been doing a fair number of easy walk rides - she's been gaining weight on the very good hay our barn provides and we have to keep an eye on that. Every couple of weeks or so, we test out the trot to see how things are coming.
6. Me - I'm definitely starting to feel my age - I'm approaching my mid-60s and things - muscles and joints mainly - that didn't use to bother me now sometimes are stiff and sore. But I've found that taking care of my horses almost daily and riding frequently - I ride almost every day and sometimes more than once a day - helps things feel better. I plan to keep riding until I can't anymore, and even then I expect I'll always be able to find an old horse - one of mine or someone else's - to groom and spend time with.
I'm glad to see that some of you are still blogging, and I'm trying to catch up . . .