February 16, 2007

How far we’ve come…

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Last August, I thought I was going to lose Isis. When she went in for colic surgery, quite a few of us at the barn thought she would never come home. She (thankfully) prooved us wrong. She showed how much strength she has.

Isis, Day 8

Coming home after a week and a half in the hospital marked the beginning of a long road. Off of grain for one month, which lead to weight management issues. She was kept in a stall for over a month. It was a real sign of how much she hurt by the fact that she wanted to be kept in. Every other time we’ve had to keep her in, she has wreaked havoc on her stall: kicked boards off of the wall, broken the stall door, and paced. She stayed quietly in her stall while she was recovering. Happy to see people, but also happy to have the rest. We pulled her back shoes and replaced her front shoes with regular steel ones.

In late October, she went out again with her pasture buddy for regular turn out. She started gaining weight again — back on grain with corn oil and pasture. Plenty of hay. Her sassy attitude returned. She is the lead mare and felt the need to prove it again.

Thanksgiving came and I was officially allowed to start her in light work. We lunged briefly… and I really saw how out of whack the pain and surgery had made her. She had no flexion in her back or hips. She looked uncomfortable. She also had little to no muscling. Out came her regular shoes (Easy Walkers on the front, aluminums on the back). She fought the farrier for the first time ever. Her chiropractor came out to and Isis tried to kick her several times. All of this because of how uncomfortable she was. It was like starting from square one after the riding accident in 2005. We were recovering not just from how the surgery/intense pain had messed up her muscles/skeleton, but also from her feet-related ouchiness. I gave Isis November and December off, except for some very light lunging.

Three chiropractic sessions and three trimmings later… and she is a different horse. A furry, cute, slightly underweight, hay-bellied mare. When she moves now, her back sways. She reaches underneath herself again and moves out with fluid grace. She has probably 80% of her muscling back.

The farrier came out on Tuesday evening to change Isis’ shoes. Isis stood quietly while she was manicured. The farrier made two comments that tickled me: Isis’ feet look perfect and she was very relaxed.

The Bay Wonder Mare would not be where she is if it wasn’t for Team Isis: the barn owners, farrier, chiropractors, vet(s), and all of Isis’ friends from the barn. If it wasn’t for all of these people helping watch over Isis, I would be one very sad person…

How can I be sad when I have a bay miracle in my barn? We may never get to ride advanced level dressage or show three-day eventing, but we will have a lot of fun doing as much as we can safely do.
Isis running part 2

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