Monday, November 5, 2012

The Nothing Song

Since our last outing as newly minted foxhunters, Pangea and I have been doing a whole lot of nothing. Well, that's not completely true.... *I* have been riding a million horses and working my butt off, but she has been hanging around stuffing her face and doing nothing at all. And depending on what I end up deciding, this might be all she's going to do for a while.

 Following her stifle injections, P has been feeling worse than usual. Some days she feels fine, and some she feels terrible. A little bute makes her feel better on days when she's not doing all that well. Following the hunt, she was just plain lame for a few days. She has had two weeks off, and I haven't watched her trot since. This week I'll reevaluate, but honestly, it is to the point where I'm not sure that I want to continue with trying to keep her sound enough to ride.

Let's face it - she's approaching 17 with an old injury that is 7 years old. Has her soundness improved since I got her? Absolutely, there is no question that she is a million times better now than she was. Is she really long-term riding sound? No. The goal in the first place was to a) give her a good home for the rest of her life and b) get a baby or two out of her. Any sort of riding I was able to get out of her was some nice collateral, but not exactly a requirement. Nevertheless, I was encouraged by her progress, and kept trying to get her sounder and sounder, despite the fact that she still had bad days, and I knew she wasn't ever going to heal in the sense that this would go away permanently. I threw all sorts of things at her - herbs, injectables, oral supplements, homeopathic remedies, you name it. Some things helped, some things didn't. Some days, she looked and felt great! Some days, she felt like terrible crap. Still, I kept trying.

We got through our hunt just fine, and without issue, but she was pretty off for a few days following. I had lots of fun on the hunt, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure it is worth it to try and keep her going for it all season long, even though I want to. What am I really trying to prove here? The plan is to breed her regardless in the spring, which is now right around the corner. Is it time to call it quits and let her relax into retirement? Should I keep her going? And to what end? WHY keep her going?

I don't know. Lots to think about. In the meantime, it has since warmed up but we have had a few mornings when temps dropped into the 30's, and Her Majesty needed her medium-heavy to keep warm for the night:




She did not approve of this. She HATES wearing clothes!

I am also considering moving facilities. The place where she is right now is ok, but I just went to see a private place last night that has 15 acres of costal with three other horses as buddies, a lighted outdoor, a covered roundpen, a gorgeous barn and indoor stalls with runs as well as outdoor stalls with runs. If I feed myself, it is only $100 a month - and having her out on pasture will seriously cut down on my hay usage. I am not sure that having her out on grass 24/7 is ideal, but with other horses out there, I can't expect the grass will really be plush and nice all year round, and I always have the option of muzzling or pulling her from the grass should there be a concern. The owner says that roundbales will be put out when the grass dies, and of course in this area the hay is all costal. P isn't on costal right now, but if she transitions to a costal pasture then a switch to costal hay won't be such a big deal. I used to hate the stuff but I have gotten used to the idea now that I am down here, so I guess I will live!

14 comments:

  1. I hope you share some discussion about the men in Pangea's life! Considering your background, I can imagine you have lots and lots to say about future progeny! Even if it has nothing to do with Pangea, I'd love to hear your opinions about various stallions, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Totally looking forward to finding the perfect baby-daddy posts! I am sure you will make the perfect decision for Pangea regarding riding. The decision to retire is definitely a hard one to make. Just take it slow, most horses are good at letting you know what they want. As per the coastal hay, I feel that hay grown in the area you live is bet for the horse. I live in Eastern NC, and feed a grass mix (coastal, fescue, timothy, oat and orchard, yeah, this farmer is crazy, but the horses and I love the hay...) currently, but have fed straight coastal for years. Timothy around here is pretty subpar. Coastal, grown correctly, is still a great hay, IMO!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Like you said, she IS 17. It sounds like you have subconsciously made the decision, you just aren't sure about implementing it. Either way I know Pangea is happy and all of her needs are being met [and exceeded] by you. Please post some stallion photos once you narrow down your selections. I know you showed me one or two, but I can't remember their names -_-

    ReplyDelete
  4. $100 a month? Nice! The lights would be a welcome addition, too. I'm betting she makes one pretty baby for you. Good thing you're used to attitude though. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good God, $100! You used to be in CT so I'm sure you understand my shock. I can't even buy hay for one horse for one month for that.

    Anyway, I have and always will support your decision to breed her. What stallions were you looking at? I have a huge stallion obsession, don't mind me.

    Since you will bee getting Imogen soon, I'm assuming she can be your new riding project?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds good. Keep in mind that too good of body condition during pregnancy can set the foal up for later issues http://ker.equinews.com/article/insulin-status-and-developmental-orthopedic-disease-horses

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bif- It's called epigenetics, or that the interaction of genes and the environment is bidirectional.

      It's why overweight humans are more likely to have overweight children. The methylation of genes can "turn off" or "turn on" genes. The body thinks that food is scarce, assuming the mother is overweight from poor nutrition, so it turns on genes that would favor better retention of nutrients, etc, and the offspring is programmed to conserve nutrients better, and is more likely to be overweight as a result.

      I'm fairly certain that I just ranted without actually making sense. Pangea looks in perfect condition to me.

      Delete
  7. I think what Bif was intending to say in so many words is that if I retire her, toss her out on pasture, and let her get morbidly obese like Gogo did, then I will probably experience some issues with this supposed upcoming breeding.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I think Andrea knows I meant that only in a helpful sense. :)

      I think Pangea has a lot going for her, and I know you'd love to have something to bring along from literally the ground up. If I were breeding, but missed finding out about that kind of research and ended up with an osteochondritis issue that I could have avoided...

      I have to fight obesity in my own pasture puff equine, so I feel the pain :}

      Delete
  8. I am enjoy watching your relationship develop with her. She seems happy and so do you.

    I can't wait to see what her love prospects are like! Ok, corny, but I have a feeling you will make a wonderful choice.

    ReplyDelete
  9. If you plan to breed her, I personally (famous everyone's ever last words here) would not try much more than just keeping her to lightly hack out on. WHY WOULD YOU? To have a fab hunt season (maybe, but doubtful). All her issues are telling you what you already know. Nuff said. Now let's see the foal already.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Breed!! I think that how everything is coming together right now is pointing in that direction. After all, you just got Imogen, now you can focus on her and just let Pangea hang out, have babies and enjoy a well deserved retirement. Can't wait to hear about stallions!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't know. Maybe give it another shot? It sounds like she may not have excellent genetics for soundness, given her sire and her problems now. Have her offspring been sound and productive? How old is the oldest offspring? Just something to consider in the whole mix! Of course, you'll now have two mares....

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm finally caught up! Sorry she is still having issues, but you said from the very beginning it wouldn't bother you if all she could do is be a pasture ornament. :) At least she's happy, healthy (mostly sound) and there with you.

    I look forward to hearing about stallion choices and her foal too! I love foals!! Will you still be posting about her here or are you combining both into the other blog?

    ReplyDelete