Monday, June 8, 2015


He can go out alone in a smaller field and move up soon. This is the first he's been on a field in over a year, and I can't wait until he can be a real horse again and run around with his friends from his old paddock! I'll just close my eyes when he runs - haha!

Friday, June 5, 2015


So since the last post, a lot has happened, and I'll summarize those events.

The appointment went WELL! They could see even more healing in the ligament and I began to canter as a result of the good news. Spyder is living in the round pen until we canter for 5 minutes for a week (this week), and I'll put him out solo in a pen with grass. Once I see that he behaves, I'm going to put him back in his old field with the other 5 or so horses. I am going to turn him out and look away because I don't want to see him run! We've been up to 20 minutes of trot for some time. I doubt he'd be trotting/cantering in the field for extended periods of time, but it's still nerve racking. The old injury in that same RF is still visible, and the heart mur mur is the same.

Now, it's time to look for a better fitting saddle. I've been using my jumping saddle if I take lessons or ride other horses, but my dressage saddle has been working out well for Spyder. He lost his top line which makes it hard to decide on the timeline for when I should start trying some, but I look forward to it! The trailer is back in order (took him to the appointment myself), and I plan on getting off the farm every now and then. Spyder and I have been so bored for so long that it's going to be nice!!

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Spyder! He turned 8 yesterday!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Last Two Rides

The last two rides haven't been that bad. He's reluctant to move, but we're working through it. Today, I hand walked him, and he decided that he wanted to buck and rear when asking to trot at the free lunge. He did try to come at me a few times, but I stood my ground. I ended up hopping out of the round pen because he turned into a wild horse. He was cantering, bucking, rearing, coming as close to me as he could without me threatening him with the lunge whip. FUN STUFF... NOT!

He worked up a sweat and I was cringing with each crazy step he was making. After he was done, I went back in, put him on a lead, and cooled him out walking him. He was much better after getting out the crazy, but I wasn't going to ask him to "trot" again for fear he'd end up hurting himself more. There was no heat on the bad leg, but it does look to just be swinging along for the ride more than usual. Let's hope it doesn't swell up and looks good next appointment. Next task, trot for 15 minutes.

Trailer floor is in, and I just need to get a few bolts added. I have to put the mat in and then practice driving it to see how it'll be confidence wise for the next appointment. Oh, and there was frost this morning when I woke up. Where are you spring?

Friday, March 27, 2015

It Hasn't Been Easy

It hasn't been easy, and I knew it wouldn't be... I just didn't think it'd be this hard. Spyder seems to be recovering physically, but mentally, he's in a different place. We did have some bumps with being crazy when starting to pick up the trot again (at 2 minutes total), and I've since gotten it to 10. He was fine for most of 5 minutes, but with ten, he's a different horse.

I was being brave after him sitting for so long and decided to trot out of the round pen since we need to trot straight. The rearing, bucking, ears back, crabby horse is back. Most times, he's fine, but others, he's a mess. Is this a phase or is this my new horse? The three most recent trips to the farm have been failures. Third to the last was a rear when a horse came in from being ridden - rear, spook, rear, shuffle, fire breathing dragon. The other girl had to dismount and Spyder refused to listen - back to the round pen for the rest of the walking. The second to the last ride, same story. It was a HUGE rear and shuffling backwards to face and back away from the direction a horse walked out of the barn to get ridden. Awesome. Are we afraid of horses now? I rode through it and moved to the round pen to cool out before going to the same location and making him stand still and behave before untacking. Funny thing about this is there is a canopy that is down that flaps and waves in the wind like a sheet on a clothes line - he's fine with that, but not horses?

Last hand walk (this Wednesday) was me asking him to move, and he didn't want to go. I pushed him to go forward, and he decided to turn and try to bite me. I threw my hands up and yelled to scare him off, and he turned away from me throwing his butt closer to me and trotting away. Wow, great attitude when I've been rehabbing you for a year and sacrificing so much of my life to make sure I get out there every day to help you get better. What do I do with this horse? I need to get up to 20-25 minutes of trot before we go back for another ultrasound, and quire frankly, it's been torture for both of us.

I e-mailed the doctor that was working with him at New Bolton, and she never got back to me. Figures. He needs to get back out in the field and on 24/7 turnout like he was prior to all of this. Maybe if he can harass the horses, he can get it out of his system by the time I get there to ride. It's hard to discipline a horse that can't be pushed to canter and let out the bucks/rears for fear that he'll hurt himself and we'll have to start over.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Discharge Papers

They are finally here!!!

History: SPYDER is a lovely 8 year old Standardbred that presented for re-evaluation of right front check ligament injury. Since the last examination, he is confined to a stall and small paddock. He is walked for 45 minutes daily. Intermittent tendon sheath effusion has been noted.

Clinical Examination: The gelding was in general good health. Mild carpal sheath effusion was noted in the right
front limb. Mild thickening was noted in the proximal palmar metacarpal region. The check ligament was not sore to palpation. Cardiac auscultation performed by Drs. ter Woort and Slack revealed a 2/6 murmur over the pulmonic value consistent with ejection murmur and 2-3/t murmur over tricuspid valve consistent with tricuspid regurgitation. Normal heart rate and rhythm was noted.

Diagnoses: Diagnosis 1: Check ligament injury, RF

Prognosis: Regarding the check ligament injury, the injury continues to heal during his rehabilitation period. The ligament may never return to normal size but we are very encouraged but the quality of healing and his relative soundness today. We recommend continued increase in controlled exercise. His prognosis for returning to previous athletic endeavors is good. Regarding his heart murmurs, both murmurs are unlikely to affect the gelding's life expectancy or athletic ability. Echocardiogram was offered but declined. If the heart murmurs increase in intensity and/or the gelding exhibits signs of fatigue or exercise intolerance, further evaluation is indicated.

Treatments and Progress:
The gelding was walked and trotted in straight lines and while circling on the hard pavement. The gelding took an occasional lame step in the right front limb when circling to the left, but otherwise sound.
Sonographic evaluation of the right front palmar metacarpal region was performed and compared to previous examination. The inferior check ligament injury continues to heal. The previously noted hyperechoic region has filled in with ligamentous fibers. The ligament continues to measure larger than normal which is expected but adequate healing has occurred.

1) Continued regular management.
2) Gradual increase in the amount of controlled daily exercise:
-Week 1: walk 40 minutes, trot 2 minutes
-Week 2: walk 40 minutes, trot 5 minutes
-Week 3-4: walk 35 minutes, trot 10 minutes
-Week 5-6: walk 30 minutes, trot 15 minutes
-Week 7-8: walk 25 minutes, trot 20 minutes
3) Daily exercise can be performed with a rider or in a horse-walker.
4) If lameness recurs, please stop the trotting and contact us.
5) Re-examination in 8 weeks.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Spyder has the typical excitement when being able to trot, as expected. My Facebook post yesterday was, "Spyder's 2 minute trot that he's allowed is "OMG, I'M FREEEEEEEEEE!!!" (rear, buck, rear, yay!) If ever I don't show up at something I'm supposed to, it's because I'm on the ground at the barn. Please send help! haha"

He's ready to go, and it's not the best thing since his injury is still not showing signs of linear growth. I need to keep him calm and less excited, but it's hard to do when a horse has sat for 8-9 months. Ahh! I'm also not thrilled with the animal hospital because discharge instructions have not been sent over a week later.  I e-mailed the doctor with no response, and called about them twice. I deserve them since 1) they sent them automatically each time 2) I pay a lot of money for each visit 3) I should have a documented list of everything that happened at the visit. UGH!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Tale of Two Rides

So I rode both days this weekend. Trotting in hand is not exactly fun, and we had decent enough weather to tack up and ride. The first ride went pretty well. I was more nervous than Spyder since I only got on one other time in this 8-9 month span. I started with the round pen and moved into open space near the round pen once I felt confident that he wasn't going to act up. Of course, it's all still walking, but the 2 minutes of trot gave a little bit of something to do. We walked for 10-15 to warm up enough for trotting, and we stayed in a straight line for that per the Doctor's recommendation. His walk was more forward than usual which leads me to believe he was happy to "have a job." The babies (young stb's that are beginning training under harness) were acting up and biting/chasing each other, but all Spyder did was watch as we got close to them. He did so well!

The second ride went much the same, but it was feeding time so I took more precaution to keep things calm. I stayed in the round pen because I didn't want him to start rearing and acting wild because he wasn't going to his stall to eat with the rest of the farm as he used to do. This is where I got really upset with the trot. He can trot perfectly to the right, but the left is still the same issue as before. Yes, we were supposed to stay straight so I was trying as hard as possible, but the swinging leg to the left is the injured one (right front). He could not trot when asked to with that leg on the outside, only canter which is where we were when this all started. This stresses me out big time, but I know each ride will be different. The local vet did tell me it could be something that he'll do forever because of compensation, but maybe he can be trained out of it? Maybe he's just doing it because it's weak still? Obviously I have no idea, but the stress of what will come of going to the left in the future takes a toll on me. I plan to ride tomorrow, but I will stay straight so that I can hopefully build it up enough to trot in one direction or the other.

I have to add that on my timehop, I was reminded that one year ago yesterday, Spyder ditched me and I broke my finger (that still hurts sometimes). It'd funny how much a year has changed everything. Riding on the track and learning to not spook/canter better to being hurt and trotting for 2 mins after sitting for so long.. ahh!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Post Appointment and Further Information

I'm still waiting on the discharge information from New Bolton, but the good news is it's not bigger. It's getting a little better, and slowly, but surely, it's coming along OK. I say OK because they can now see where the puncture to the area was. They could also see the old bow better in another area because of the new images. So it seems that leg just "has issues." I know it's not ever going to be the same, I just hope we can go back to doing the riding thing at some point. It's now 40 minutes of exercise with 2 minutes of it being trot for week 1. Each week after gets 2 minutes of trot added up to 15, I think? They really need to send me the discharge sheet so I know what to do and what everything was called so I can look into it more.

Another development/discovery is in Spyder's heart. He has different issues on each side, but the murmur is the more common and lesser of the two worries. The other side of the heart has a leaky valve, and they aren't sure if it's in a bad spot or not from just listening. In being asked to ultrasound the heart, I asked a few questions. 1) Will it change his performance? 2) Does it change his life expectancy? Both answers seemed to be no assuming that it wasn't anything more than what they heard. I was assured it's nothing that will make him drop dead while riding, it may just become a conditioning issue. They recommended ultra sounding it if I was a worry wart to know that it wasn't going to be an issue. Since there is nothing that can be done for it, I figured I'd wait on seeing if anything comes of it before checking it out, if at all.

2-3 months will go by before we go back for yet another ultrasound to see if the trot has gotten it to heal/get more stable/build more fibers. They seemed happy with where it is, but he still can't be turned out. He'll have a good old time keeping it cool (aka bored out of his mind) in the round pen which brings us to almost a year (in May). And so we wait some more.
Hey, stop making fun of me. Hay in his tail is from sleeping in it in the sun today.
Mr. Baldy Legs

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's a Bust

The appointment was rescheduled because of the blizzard we were supposed to get. We got just a few inches (and were supposed to get up to a foot or two), and the farm got an inch or two. I'm a bit upset that I had to reschedule the ultrasound for next week, but I guess it was better to be safe than sorry. I'm over waiting, and excited for next week. Wednesday should tell us more.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Spyder's checkup is going to be a week from tomorrow, January 27th at New Bolton Center at UPenn again. I have a shipper ready to go because I still have yet to install the trailer floor due to the weather - meh.

I am both excited and worried (because it does seem a bit stocky again), and I hope we see some healing this time around. It'd be nice to stop hand walking him since I have been doing it for months now. Of course, it's what he needs, and I'll do what it takes, but I'm ready to get back in the saddle. I can only hope that spring will bring getting back on and that his attitude will be adjusted from last year. May will mark 1 year in this journey of lameness. Time will tell, and I'm so anxious.