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Discussion Starter #1
Back on the 23rd of this month I went out to find my horse Aramis (Arie for short) stuck in the fence....but his foot was suspended in the air, hanging there, by a piece of barbed wire. It had dug into the back of his foot, leaving a huge puddle of blood on the ground and me in hysterics. My nieghbor came and cut him loose and the vet came out to remove the last bit of wire, flush the wound and wrap him up. Through all the treatment Arie was so incredibly good, he knew we were trying to help him.

The next day a different vet came with a truck and trailer so we could haul him over to a friend's barn where she had a stall for him. Even though Arie was in some pain, he loaded right on the trailer for me without a second thought. Got to the barn and the vet wanted to give him a sedative. I told him that Arie had come to me with baggage with shots and to go slow with him, but he didn't listen to me. Arie fought him hard, trying to bite and slam him into the wall, but not doing so to me in the process. The vet gave up and asked for a chain to use on him and I said "We are NOT doing that." He started arguing with me, but I wouldn't have any of it. I started my needle prep exercises that I have done a thousand times with Arie and very soon he settled down, softened (mentally, emotionally and physically) and started giving to the pressure. The vet was watching, but came in again and started to do the same thing, and Arie started fighting so I told the vet to back off and do what I had done. He said a few words but did it anyway, and guess what, Arie stood still and allowed him to give him the shot.

The x-rays showed that Arie has fractured the wing of his coffin bone, but luckily it's not a weight bearing part. Long story short, he put a catheter in and started him on antibiotics and wrapped the foot. Arie has also done a self-nervectomy, so now he can't feel anything on that side of his foot to a degree. This is actually a good thing considering the injury.

The foundation I've put on Arie up to this point is being tested every day. He is learning that being doctored isn't something to get defensive about, even if it is uncomfortable at times. I'm able to take his temp every day, give him the injections in the catheter without a halter on, and bandaging his foot is pretty easy. Today the vet came out to look at the wound and he gave me the sedative shot to give to Arie. He doesn't want anything to do with Arie and shots, which is fine by me, but he definitely noticed how calm and cooperative Arie is with me. Maybe he's learned something. The wound looked excellent he said and he cut away all the proud flesh and dead tissue and then he put a cast on him. He said Arie should make a full recovery and I'll be able to ride him and work him like normal, but after 4-6 weeks of stall rest.

I plan on making the most out of the stall rest period, working on our foundation in little ways and spending a lot of undemanding time with him. I feel this will make our relationship even stronger. I really don't want to think about how this would have gone if this had happened when I first got him. Disaster seems to be an appropriate word to use. I've done so much needle prep work, feet handling work, tolorence building exercises, getting him used to different people being around him, and just the work I do with him in our sessions has really paid off. He trusts me to take care of him and that alone makes it worthwhile. My foundation isn't done being tested, but so far Arie and I are standing on a very solid structure:) He has taught me so much!
 

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:)Sounds like you've done a great job with your horse! I have a mare that is "difficult" at times and I've had Vets that thought they could use rough hands and they all found out she would have none of it! Keep up the good work - Arie is lucky to have you! I hope he heals quickly from his injury.
 

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That's great! You should be very proud of what you have accomplished, and know that you are on the right path, especially with this horse.

I am very interested in what you did for needle therapy. Walka was very needle phobic (probably due to what he went through as a foal with surgery to correct his Ryes (sp.) nose). It finally came to a head and unfortunately I got trampled in the process. Since then, we have made tremendous progress, and he stands like a brave gelding! It takes a lot for him, but he makes such a courageous effort. His anxiety is so high, that when he needs to be tranqed, they have to give him more because the first dose wears off because of his anxiety.

Could you give some info on what you did for needle therapy? Very interested in learning in case we have a regression.
 

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Great job, Spirithorse! It means so much when you know an animal like that trusts you because of the work you have done and the effort you have put into it.

Vets/farriers who feel they have to be rough right off the bat without even seeing what kind of temperament an equid has have no place in the vet business, in my opinion! I have a 6-y/o stud donkey and he is an extremely good boy. The vet came out for something (wolf teeth removal, maybe?) and the first thing the vet tech with him did was walk up to my boy, grab his beautiful ear, and twist it down hard. I could have knocked him into next week! I immediately grabbed his hand and got it off Tom's ear and told him he didn't need to ever come back to my property. He didn't even assess Tom's behavior (standing still and calmly with ears forward) or anything, just grabbed. And people wonder how their animals got ear-shy, or why they hate the vet...
 

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Im sooo happy to hear that he was okay!

Good Job!! :)
Ive been delaying the needle prep work with Chance because she has yet to need it, but its something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For the needle prep I first started with being able to pound on his neck. I know some vets do that so I figured I might as well have him used to it. I didn't stop until he relaxed. The point is to get them to relax their neck muscles so that it doesn't hurt so much when the needle goes in. So then I just pushed my finger into his neck and started teaching him to either lower his head or turn his head slightly toward me when he feels that pressure, thus relaxing the muscle. Once he was ok with that, I pinched a piece of skin between my fingers.....than between my nails (which help if they are long)....then I used a toothpick to ***** him in the neck. I also started taking a syringe out with me and I would have it in my hand as if I'm gonna give him a shot and poke him with the toothpick. I also got him used to it on the underside of his neck as if coggins was being pulled. With Arie it was tough b/c he used to try to bite, strike and rear with shots, but now, if the vet approachs correctly, he stands well.
 

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Thanks Spirithorse, that sounds very similar to what I did to get Walka more comfortable with needles. He still has anxiety, but he will now stand there and "suck it up" and be brave. He is learning to trust us not to hurt him. After all, some of those moose flies hurt much worse than the needles. :shock::wink:

I also found that he looks to me to see if he should be overly concerned. If my demeanor is business as usual, he takes that lead beautifully.
 

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Ahhh, needle issues , Radar hates needles...I need to work on this with him as well before it is needed . The vet is quick and I am not but I need to get him better prepared for sure.

Great job Spirithorse!
 

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Even now, I'm "upping" the game with Arie with needles. I'm going to make things a little less comfortable even more to build his tolorence. Arie is a difficult horse in a lot of areas, getting over his baggage with needles being one area, so it's requiring me to stretch the limits of what I know and to experiment and to find the answer myself by simply staying true to the principles I've learned....I'm certainly becoming an even better independent learner!
 

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I have finally got the chance to watch the new savvy club dvd, dealing with the treatment prep. That was just what I needed to help me and Radars fear of needles. The whole dvd was very well put together and informative....I like the fact that Pat is using horses that he doesnt know and they act up like our horses would...some of them havent really even been introduced to the 7 games.

SpiritHorse : Have you gotten the chance to watch it yet? What are your thoughts if you have?
 

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I have not watched it yet seeing as I haven't been home (been staying at a friend's house to take care of Arie), but a friend of mine did and told me about it and said it was good. She told me about what Pat did in order to take the horse's temperature, actually pressing on the hole and so on, so I did that with Arie and it really helped him tolorate it better! I'm glad it helped you with needle prep, I'm happy they finally did a DVD on treatment!
 

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No one ever even thinks about the foundation until the wind is a blowing and the walls are a shakin!!

Thats when a good foundation pays off in spades. Every horse has his "Holy S__T!"" issues. With a good foundation, trust and respect all can be overcome.

Try not to blame the vet too much--remember he is expected to get his work done and for sure he has had some real idiots on the end of the rope--both ends for sure. Sounds like he is beginning to trust that you are not one of them.

Give that girl a cupie doll!!
 

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Nah I blame the vet to a degree. I told him beforehand that he needed to go slow but he blew me off. So he got what he had coming not listening to me lol. I'm thankful he didn't get hurt, don't get me wrong, but I do think he learned a lesson.
 

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Congradulations on standing your ground firmly on what you believe in. That is sometimes hard to do when the other person is supposed to be the professional
 

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Thank you :) That's one thing you do not do with me, is try/think about man-handling my horse. Arie can hold his own just fine, but it's my job to protect him from experiences like that. I would have laid the smack down right then and there if he had kept arguing with me! lol.
 

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Nah I blame the vet to a degree. I told him beforehand that he needed to go slow but he blew me off. So he got what he had coming not listening to me lol. I'm thankful he didn't get hurt, don't get me wrong, but I do think he learned a lesson.
One of my young guys needed 17 stitches in his chest. He was in cross ties and when the vet arrived he was going to sedate him but I told him to just freeze the area and sew him up. The horse stood perfectly still while the vet clipped the area and then sewed him up. He never moved but I noticed a slight flinch at the end of the cut and that was because the freezing never took at the very end.
He then stuck him with 2 needles again just up and stuck them in the neck. There was no messing around, the horse just stood and accepted.

Is he less then your horse because he accepted????
When they put him down for a shattered leg they needed a port in his neck so they inserted one and sewed it in so they could inject him easier and faster. Again he just stood rock still on his 3 legs and accepted.
Lost a great boy that day.. AGain was he less because he didn't make a fuss, was his foundation weak? or was it alot stronger then yours.

I do the herd plan on 25 horses. About 20 stand perfectly for the needles and the tube with dewormer squirted down the throat.
5 fight everything but looking at the owners it is easy to see their weakness. AGain does the 20 have a poorer foundation then your guy or is he more related to the 5 fighters??

I feel the vet has every right to expect a good horse, a co-operative horse as does the farrier. It is expected and if your horse fights I don't consider it much of a foundation.

We use to do the teeth without without sedation and they stood , not anymore, now the vets all use sedation but my old guy just stood and accepted.

I guess I just need to work on my foundation more so he can be a real little puke when it comes time for the vet to handle him.:lol:
You did a good job showing the vet that you don't just go up to your horse and stick a need in him. Good job on building a solid foundation.
 

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Well aren't you just a peach RiosDad. You know, you're an *** for posting what you did. You don't know my horse, in fact I know you wouldn't last 2 seconds with him, and I know what is best for my horse thank you very much. So don't think that you are all high and mighty simply because you had horses without extreme needle baggage. So take your critical, nasty, arrogant attitude elsewhere.
 
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