Sunday, August 19, 2012

Not much to report!

I haven't blogged about Pangea in nearly a month. A MONTH! Mostly I've had little to write about, honestly - I've been working insanely long hours at my two full time jobs as well as trying desperately to keep up with full time school (yes, three full time things plus riding doesn't work out very well) - and I haven't been riding very much due to the heat and Pangea's inability to cope with it. She's been doing a lot better, thankfully, but she has struggled over the past few months to keep herself cool. Lots and lots of sweat and one sunbleached coat later, and we seem to be reaching the end of summer, sort of. As I write, it is currently overcast and 68 degrees. I know it will warm into the low 90's later today, but I'll take that as "cooling off." We're not supposed to reach into the 100's again in the foreseeable future, so I am hoping it won't happen again until next summer!

Most of what Pangea has done over the past month is nothing at all, save for going in the AquaTread once a week, a few dressage rides, and a few trail rides as well. She is still teetering on the edge of comfortable enough to be strongly rideable, and I have been debating whether or not to really pursue a foxhunting career with her. Is she going to stay comfortably sound enough to do it, or not? I figure I will keep trying to find her magic combination for the rest of the year, and then reevaluate. To be honest, if she isn't going to make a foxhunter, then she'll be semi-retired and become a happy trail pony and momma. I don't want to hear ONE NEGATIVE WORD from people about her being a momma. I've made the mistake of talking about breeding in the past, and I am not keen to get the same negative response. My horse, my money, my decision, end of story! ;)

Anyway, back to Pangea's comfort. As her issues have unfolded, I have realized they are far more complicated than I ever imagined. It isn't just that she had an old stifle injury that was unattended to, it was that her entire body has been compensating for years due to that and her feet. The soreness in her body made her stand in odd positions - camped under a lot in front, for instance - which in turn made her wear her sole thin at the toe and grow a long heel... which made her body sore. Her entire body developed a sway to the right, feet included. We have come a VERY long way in helping to improve her posture, but she is still very body sore and restricted. Two chiropractic adjustments have failed to help her, and dental work didn't improve anything either. (I thought the dentist was great but the chiro was not great... we'll be looking for a new one.) Regular trims and a balanced diet have done an awful lot of good for her feet, but she is going to need boots if we want to get any further on tougher terrain. Devil's Claw Plus and Cosequin ASU were very helpful, but not quite enough. She is currently going through a course of Acetyl-D, and if that isn't helpful enough, will do a course of Adequan as well. She had a massage yesterday for the first time, as I suspected it would do her a whole lot of good, and holy lord did she ever need it! She spent the entire time trying to bite me and kicking out violently at all the knots the massage therapist uncovered. As she's not a biter or a kicker, it speaks an awful lot about the level of pain she was feeling. (At least she wasn't trying to kick the massage therapist... she was just kicking out backwards to show how she really felt about the whole thing, instead of aiming for her!) She was stuck basically from head to tail, poor thing. It's all compensatory soreness... it's all just a big mess. She'll get another one next week, and we'll see how she feels then.

The saddest part about this whole ordeal is that had somebody bothered to properly treat her injury when it first happened, none of this would be happening now. Now, it is up to me to play clean-up crew, and it isn't pretty. Truthfully, she doesn't owe me anything, and if I can't get her to where she needs to be to be a consistent riding horse, then she'll be retired to broodie and trail duty. There isn't anything that she has to do for me in order to earn her keep. Just being who she is is enough for me.

A few of the things we've been up to this past month:

Also, systematically destroying flymasks. She is very good at that.

A few shreds at first...

... to the full Phantom of the Opera.

No more nice Cashel masks for you mare... this is the fourth one you have destroyed this summer!! She wore the one Gogo had for FIVE YEARS for three days and completely ruined it. She also blew through a Quiet Ride mask and now TWO more regular Cashel masks, one with ears and one without... fail! I hear Horseman's has super cheap masks with durable mesh... gonna have to check them out for sure.

We'll see how the massage worked!


  1. Looks like you've been on some super-pretty rides of late!

    Sorry to hear that Ms. P. isn't 100%, but it sounds like she's got a lot working against her. I'm sure your long, slow trail rides are helping her, as well as everything else you are doing. As for her being a momma- she's got the bloodlines and she's a piece of your Metro, you know all the pluses and minuses, so you should do what you want. I just wanna know who the baby daddy is!

  2. A Metro grand baby sounds awesome! I think the idea of having your own line of Metro family at home is really nice, it adds a wonderful very deep personal touch to breeding and your horses.

    Glad to see you're enjoying her either way, she certainly seems like a fearless trail master.

  3. I'd give her as much time as you can to see how sound she ends up. Just having her exercise is doing her good--the old injury, coupled with a long period of inactivity, sounds like the source of her struggle as she gets fit.

    It's hard for anyone to get fit and use their body correctly if they haven't been working out for a long while. It's even harder when someone is middle aged. Be patient and trust that helping this horse get fit--even if she is uncomfortable at spots in the process--is a kindness and a gift to her (and will help her longterm happiness and comfort) She may make a hunthorse yet!

    I like hearing about Pangea! I hope you'll update, even if it strikes you as dull. What about the Metro/Pangea connection? Have you tried her over little jumps? Seems like there is plenty to write about.

  4. Sorry your girl seems to have the deck stacked against her...but she's fortunate to have you on her side. We had a gelding with lameness issues and back problems. Had acupuncture done on him a few times and he's been golden ever since.(knock wood) We also bred our beautiful mare a few years ago to a stud I had been drooling over for years. We are now happy owners of a gorgeous two year old filly. I don't plan on breeding again, but I couldn't be happier with the outcome. If your gut says do it-then go for it!

  5. I budget $25 a month for fly masks, LOL...curses!

  6. I will say that in "trying" to help my mare with some injuries she ended up compensating herself into a pretzel. It's taken about 14 months to get her fully comfortable again (2 week trim cycle, regular bodywork and class IV laser..) and I FINALLY have a horse with normal posture, comfortable movement and a happy relaxed face. All that happened when I *thought* I was paying attention to her needs... so I can't imagine how much more of a pretzel your girl might be if she really was just left to her own devices... Glad to hear that you're on a good path with her!

  7. Accupuncture in addition to chiro and some massage Andrea! Really, really awesome stuff! I have personal experience with it, and it would behoove you to give it a try! Ha, ha! be-HOOVE! LOL! And you are right. Breeding her is TOTALLY your choice, cash, etc. You are not an irresponsible horse owner, and won't be leaving any problems for someone else to fix should something not so great happen with a baby. You'll be alive longer than any baby statistically, so GO FOR IT! You haven't got to experience a foal yet with any of your horses, and it certainly is time for you to be rewarded instead of the infernal heartbreak you've been through! :D

  8. I hope you find another chiro who is GOOD. Having had a chiro make my first horse's issues WORSE (fortunately only used him twice), I am so grateful for the good chiropractors I do know. I really hope you find one down there that can help Pangea out. Massage before chiro can do wonders, too... and acupuncture can do marvels, also in conjunction with chiro, to get the muscles to the point that the chiro can manipulate what he wants and increase the chance of it staying there ;-)
    I've not used acupuncture on any of my horses, but have seen it and saw real differences.

    If your peeps can find a way to get her straightened out that way (pun, hahaha), provided her arthritis isn't too egregious, I would think some foxhunting would be good for her. Perhaps mostly hilltopping with some jumping, and only second flight or whatever two or three times a month. That should still give her plenty of exercise, you plenty of fun, but not too much more wear and tear on her joints. Or ride her how you/she want, and be a little freer with icing legs and some firocoxib ;-)

    I hope if/when you do decide to breed her, she takes easily and has a brainy and beautiful foal, just like Momma and grampa Metro. She seems a very nice, quality mare. As you know, being older can make it hard to conceive, so not sure you want to wait *too* long... Are you considering next spring, or the following, depending on how her comfort level and athletic work turn out? We would all love following along on the blog (hint, hint)

    If you do the Adequan series, look at Rood and Riddle's pharmacy, they have good pricing (pricing for veterinarian's is REALLY good, BTW)...

    My guy has reasonable luck with Activ-flex (Big D's usually has good sales) topped up with a bit more MSM. I sometimes use the Cetyl M topical. And I started him on Adequan. I also a added firocoxib.

    Before that I had him on SmartPak's Resilience (I think ~ they've changed their formula names)and the TLC, but he was getting sore after two years on that. He has degenerative cartilage that causes bone cysts to form in his stifle. Poor Pangea is hopefully not nearly as deteriorated, so these might really help :)

  9. I hope she does get to a more comfortable point too! Not for lack of trying. I'm not sure I can give any are doing all we do too, and we don't have the best of luck. Better, yes, but not fixed. I second massage, and I really enjoy some of the Masterson clinics, and hands on approach b/c Laz LOVES it. BIG BIG BIG releases. So, that is encouraging that he feels goooood. Keep up the great work! It's better, WAY better for her vs prior at least.

  10. I think breeding her would be a great idea. There is nothing wrong with it, especially since she's a proven broodmare. Would you breed her a few times or just once? I'm assuming you would keep the baby. Do you have any stallions in mind? Plenty of fancy colors out there lol. Sorry, I'm totally into the whole breeding thing. I'm getting a weanling Arabian colt in October. And if Pangea is retired, maybe you can train Bay Girl?