Cruiser is lame again.
It's seeming to get worse. I believe retirement may come closer then expected. I have asked a lady to help and she has devised several options. I'm extremely upset but it's best for him.
I've thought long and hard about the situation. My thoughts are:
He's 22. He's had such an eventful life - from being a stallion until the age of eight to cross country courses to show jumping to upper level dressage. With that said, he has been highly active therefore putting a lot of stress on his joints through out the years (versus a trail horse or something inactive). I have been trying to deal with his soreness for quite some time. We've had a difficult past year due to white line disease and other progressing lameness. I'm going to have to bring the vet out again to go even further with diagnostics. We've been waiting things out a bit lately - we've had to wait for his white line to disappear, his teeth to be corrected and for him to be comfortable with his new home. All of those things have gone well, but he shows signs of pain in different legs now. I'm thinking either occult spavins or and arthritis. The only tricky part of this is bute is often used as an inflammatory. If he has developed occult spavins, bute will slow his healing process, something I don't want to do. I must be careful with anything given to him. I have also done things that should help the healing of occult spavins but things don't seem to be following through.
So, I'm going to have to really watch my money and take him into the vet, get x-rays and further work. I'm not doing this to be able to ride him, I don't see a need to risk more pain at this time. Instead, I want to set him up on an even better pain management plan. The person (Mary) that is helping me runs a Rehabilitation Center and knows several places to send retiring horses (she has done this for horses retiring from her program.) Thank goodness I have her!! She has offered what sounds to be a fantastic place - a rehab center also. It is for high risk children - meaning those that are problematic, risk for trouble, ect. He would get ground work, which he loves, and little riding. This would be ideal. The only bad part is that it is in Ohio, six hours away. :( But, if I have to comprise a long drive to see him over a wonderful home, I'll do it. The other ideal option would be as a pasture pet or baby sitter for foals. He would have little to no work and basic retirement and pampering. (If he had friends to be with, he'd love this). So, there are options. I am not however, shipping him off to just anywhere or letting him be put away in a pasture in pain.
It's hard, but I've known it's been coming for a while. He can't live forever, so I must do what is best.
If he does find a new home, I will consider a new horse. Until then, he will stay with me. If nothing works out with him, he will still stay with me.
On a positive note..
I did think about hiring a professional photographer to come out and take pictures. I have so few pictures of him! I would braid his mane, shine him up and have him do.. glamor shots. And if possible, a few of us riding.
And, my pup is now 30 pounds and is only 14 weeks old. She's going to get so big.
I believe I've some what edited my situation for the better.
I've been offered the rehabilitation horse to train, which I think I'll do. My barn has offered to take him in for a place to stay and has greatly reduced board because of the situation. The only thing I worry about is
B.) The time he needs.
He's really young and awkward and most certainly a lot of hard work. I do like him and now that the possibility of jumping is there, I really would like to try him out. I wish I could sign a lease for 6 months rather then 12, but I don't think it'll work that way. But, he would be a horse I could train dressage and jumping with, my two favorite things. So, while I have him, I'll work on Cruiser. I went out yesterday and his lameness was much better. My only delima is now I have to have vet work done AND fix my truck - expensive.. Hopefully with the vet's advise and what we find, there will still be options for him to continue light work with pain management. If he doesn't improve, I'll find a place for him to retire. In the mean time, I'll keep looking for options for him as well. So, in a way, Cruiser is retiring from dressage and going to be a simple lesson horse, even lighter work. I can't however, just stop all exercise with him, he'd become completely lame, he needs to move around. So, right now, he is in the ideal situation. Just need to work out financial situations to get his vet work.
By the way, when I say he's lame, I don't mean staggering limping and such - I mean lameness that is barely detected but I know he's off. On his worse days there is a slight limp, but still, by all means - nothing severe. I wouldn't put him through that.
Cruiser did much better yesterday. He seemed to feel much better. We went on a short trail ride, I needed to relax.
I have a Prob and Stats exam in a few hours.. ugh. I'll be glad when classes are over today.
Edit.. I GOT A CAMERA!!! Now for it to stop raining..
I went to SM to volunteer and help train the on-trial horses. Things went well, the horses were "spunky" due to the drastic weather change. :roll:
Things are on there way as far as the new horse goes! I talked to the people at my barn and was able to work out a "better" stall for him. Some stalls are nicer then the others (all are adequate) but I felt more comfortable with him having a nicer one. He's young and injury prone so I was able to manage the safest one. (No way for feet getting caught or heads getting banged.) Basically it's young horse proofed.
I'm pretty excited about getting the new horse, I'll have a horse I can event with! Cruiser is still enjoying the fact I'm not working him and will probably REALLY enjoy the fact I have my attention focused on the new horse.
I looked for training systems and pessoas online to day. They are so expensive, and for what? Pieces of rope?
I'm thinking about making some jumps for the trails. Oh, I'm so excited. Not a lame horse! I just hope my luck doesn't turn for the worse...
I'll add some pictures maybe later tonight. I hope to get pictures of Cruiser tomorrow. The super cold weather is damaging to cameras, so we'll have to see how the weather goes. I want to get a video of the new guy to watch his progress. I'll be able to do that once I get him at my barn.
Oh, and the new guys name is Ripple. I'd rename him if I bought him, but I'm only leasing so Ripple it is.
I got an application for a large animal vet office in my area. I so hope I get a job there. *fingers crossed*
It's so warm today! I'm about to head to the barn. 8)
Cruiser has his "day at the vet" on Saturday (hopefully) if transportation goes accordingly. *fingers crossed*
I also believe I will be going to see about a horse tomorrow. I lady has invited me to go cross country in hopes I buy her horsey. We'll see...