About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

If only they had thumbs...

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I find myself saying this all the time, "If Lazarus (or Mason) had thumbs they could help out so much!" I feel they want to help; they use their mouths, they use their hooves/paws, etc trying to help. It's not their fault they don't have thumbs! :)

Laz here was nibbling on the wood (he is a wood chewer!) handle of my pitch fork. Maybe he wants to help clean up his paddock?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Peaceful Holidays

Happy Holidays everyone!

Lazarus and I are still doing well. Meaning, he is still fighting like the Champ he is with his laminitis and his new bout of welts. I am doing well, being I still have my brown boy alive and happy. Simple pleasures and very thankful for over this Holiday season!!

Here are his welts, going down actually, since last week. We are still trying to figure why he got these itchy welts.
Look at that hay belly..so much better than his ribby look he had for a bit!

How cute is this, the barn owner decorated for the Holidays! I found it funny that Laz's was a rocking horse, like old man in a rocking chair healing! LOL!

Look at those ears, love them! "Hi Mom!"
He is a pigpen, he loves to roll, lay down and really laaaay down and place his head on the ground stretched out. He did that before the laminitis too.
After grooming him lightly (I don't want to cause the welts to itch more) I swapped out his rain sheet and put him back into his winter blanket. I'll see if this was the culprit of the welts, although I don't think it is...
Look at that calm sleepy eye and he is totally smiling!


After spending a few hours (brrrr) outside with him, Mason and I left. Look how happy and peaceful the horses are here. We are so lucky to board here.
Mason loves coming here too! He is a city living dog, but loves the country life!

I hope everyone has an amazing New Year and wishing for a GREAT 2010!!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holy Hives!

My poor Laz!! He seems to be unable to catch a break! Well, I guess that is not entirely true being he is beating the odds so far with his laminitis.
Yesterday, I went out to see my sweet brown boy. It was warmer than usual, the sun was out, the wind was down and it was a balmy 32 degrees. So, being a 'good' horse owner, I thought, I need to yank off his blanket and really groom him (since I hadn't seen him in 24 hrs) and check him over. As much as I love putting on a warm blanket on his thinner body, I do feel it masks him and I can't fully see him. Laz was a bit off too, yesterday. Quite spooky, spinning and flinchy. Almost like a horse that was smacked around would act. I gently pulled off his blanket and literally gasped!
All over his body were hundreds of HIVES!!!!!!!!! It looked like mosquito bites but obviously not the season. I called the barn owner over and we put our heads together.

-He has had his winter blanket on for about a week, and no hives on Friday.
-He did start a new supplement G.U.T. for his ulcer prevention
-Maybe he's allergic to the scotch guard we sprayed on his winter coat about a month ago but I used the same brand as last year and he had no issue with it. Same winter coat too.

So, we decided not to give him his supplements and to switch him back to his rain sheet until we talked to the Vet this morning. Vet informed us that usually they administer a steroid that will take care of the issue. However, being Lazarus is healing from laminitis, he doesn't want to give him that being he thinks his laminitis may have been caused by what he calls a chemical founder. Too many medicines in his body during his colic, or some combination his body couldn't handle.

So, we have to wait a few days to hope they go away. Poor little man is so uncomfortable and itchy. I didn't want to scratch the hives because I know it'll make it worse for him. I did groom him lightly and if it wasn't cold out, I would hose him down for relief. But in the winter? I just hope he rolls in his cold sand for some relief.

Have any of you experienced hives? Allergic reactions to blankets? Supplements? Those are the only two new variables that I can think of!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Toothbrush?


Just another calm, peaceful day spent with my boy.
Our routine has been as follows: I get there all ridiculously bundled up to stay somewhat warm in 20 weather. I first walk over to him before going in to shout my "Hello!" I head into barn, grab my grooming brushes from my locker, head to his paddock/stall. I walk up to him and love on him and we chat for a bit. Usually, I then throw his a few flakes of hay. I unwrap his legs to allow them to breathe. Then I spend about an hour cleaning his area, picking up poops, loose wet hay and attempt to chip the ice out of the freezing sand to soften it a bit more. Then, I groom him. Then, I re-wrap his legs, top off his water, throw more hay and I head back to work.
The best part of it is I get to see him, breathe him and love on him.

Below was a funny quick video I took of him trying to 'groom' his brush and play with it. He was especially into 'grooming' me with his camel lip and grabbing my coat with his lip. Amazing how strong that lip can be. Nothing makes me laugh more. I think being he's been separated from the other herds, I've become his grooming buddy.

video



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Easing into winter

Brrrrr! Depending on where you are, this weekend was C.O.L.D.! Like fingernails wanting to pop off your fingertips cold. Friday evening I went out to the barn, which now, I'm trying to do every other day to save a little on gas (drive is an hour each way) and catch up around the house, etc. Friday was frigid. Re-wrapping Laz's wraps in the WIIIINDY artic cold was hell. He was spooky and kept spinning while I was trying to wrap him! Finally, I had to pull him inside his stall, throw him some hay to persuade him to be quiet. I could stand the cold for about one wrap, then I would run back in the heated club/tack/grain room to warm up and did that for each leg! LOL! He was toasty warm with just his lightweight rain sheet on and did I mention the best news...Friday, when the vet came out, he thought Laz looked quite good!! We will cut his Equioxx dose in half starting tomorrow and Laz seems to be moving better and better each day!

Sweet Laz standing against the wind, he soon figured out that he could stand in his stall and reach his neck around to eat his hay and watch the other horses. Our next round of xrays/shoes is for Jan 6th! I'm so happy to see his improvement happen and am hoping for solid results via xrays!!
Friday, on my way home, I stopped at the North American Horse Expo to check out the goodies, horses and any sales. It was a cool show, lot's of different disciplines showing, unique horse breeds,;mares and stallions, and tack stores offering great deals. A little bittersweet for things that I can't use for a while, nor can really afford right now. I was able to save about 15% on Uckele products, such as E + Se, G.U.T. and Cocosoya which was great! Do any of you use G.U.T. for ulcer control? My vet thought it would help control Laz's ulcers for the future, so I went ahead and bought the BIG tub (for good luck).
Love draft horses, they are just so prehistoric looking and majestic. It was funny to see them just cruising around the Expo. Speaking of majestic, holy Fresian stallion that stole my heart. This is my husband's favorite breed.
Sorry for the fuzzy photos, but I tried to quickly snap these fast moving horses and well, they just didn't turn out that well. Below is a Spanish Barb Mare pregnant, rocking a Bob Marley hairstyle. Sweet girl.
There were three small arenas set up for demonstration, and this was a lovely dressage demo. I have never done any formal dressage training, although the woman I board at, knows a bit and has done a little with us. It would be something I would love to get into, I find it so fascinating and beautiful.
Below was a snoozing stallion that I thought was just lovely. I do love a paint horse! They are just walking pieces of contemporary art! It was a fun Expo and worth the savings on my supplements. A great way to spend a frigid day, still amongst horses.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Building Trust

Lazarus, on alert.
Something had his attention a few days ago and he has such a strong presence when he wants to. Even though he has the Mati beads braided in his mane and tail, he doesn't let the 'jewelry' take away his masculinity, lol!

Now that the weather is much cooler, I opted to put his rain sheet back on him. The little bit of extra warmth does his comprimised body some good, and keeps him from getting wet when laying in the wet sand.
Here is his looking into his stall, hesistating to come in for his water. We had to move his water inside to keep from freezing.

He comes in OK, but comes in slowly and carefully.

On most days, when I pull up to the barn, this is the image I see. My sweet boy standing in his sand paddock, ears perked facing me. Lately, favoring his right rear leg but moving from outside paddock to inside his stall and shifting weight. He seems to be easing into healing (????)...time will tell. But the perked eyes, the bright eyes, the healthy appetite all helps.

Yesterday, when I pulled up, I saw this and I have to say in the past it was an image of "awww look at how content he is." Now, it sometimes causes flashes of worry. I think; oh god, is he hurting more? Can he get up? Is his stomach upset? etc etc.

So I wheeled inside the barn, so I could go out to him and see what was up.

It was good news; meaning, he was just fine.
Laz was just totally relaxing, and chilling. In fact, I feel he would have lightly wagged his tail while laying down, like my dog would when approaching him snoozing. Laz stayed down for about 15 minutes. I snapped this quick shot, but then put my camera away and just rubbed his head, his neck, his ears. He strongly rubbed his head into my hands, blew out a content snort/sigh, and stretched his neck out like a giraffe for more grooming coverage. It was a total tender moment. I felt he allowed me to come near him when laying down, because he trusts/trusting me more. After he felt he had enough, he (quickly) stood up, pee'd (lol!) and then went back to munching his hay.
Made me smile ear to ear!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Swimming pool for Laz?


No, I have not gone crazy and bought a pool for sweet sweet Laz, but sort of wish I could!
I saw this company, The Sanctuary advertise on TheHorse.com and thought how lucky for some rich horse owners to have this for ailing babies. By 'babies' I mean of the Equine sort of course!
I know Lazarus would enjoy this pool therapy for his laminitis healing, as he loooooves to paw quite aggressively at water. Well, our one and only trail ride before he got sick, he did anyway!

I hope in about 8-12 mths, when...not if!..he heals, I can take him back on a trail ride and maybe allow him to swim a bit!? Granted it's a shallow river, certainly not a salt water pool like above!

For now, instead of purchasing a pool for him (yeah like it was a reality) he has a new left shoe, so both of his back feet are suited up with her power shoes and he has given us all (vet and farrier included) new hope for a recovery! We still have quite a battle and another round of xrays to hopefully prove we are right. His blood work is back to normal, ulcers seem to have settled so he is now off Gastrogard.
For now, I'm quite happy that Lazarus seems to be accepting the shoes with a gregarious appetite and fighting to stay alive!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mt. Lazarus

Living in S.E. Michigan, it's pretty darn flat. There are some hills, but nothing grand and beautiful. The other day, while I was out grooming Laz and hugging him, I was noticing the fine detailing of the curves of his body. His sloping withers, his long back, his hips, his barrel, etc and thought they reminded me of beautiful rolling hills covered in streams of black icicles.


I love how his coloring even matches that of earth brown

Something very plush looking about a winter fur coat coming in

And like always, a little luck never hurt anyone! So Laz (per Vet's suggestion even) is sporting a new Greek Mati tied in his tail to work wonders specifically on his back hooves.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Egg Shoe

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So, our new Egg shoe has been on since Wednesday and so far (knock on wood) it's been good. Laz is maintaining (to the eye, we'll know more with xrays soon) and not rejecting the new shoe with the wedge and Vettec. Vet thought today, after checking him out, that he is moving in a good/better direction. He took blood so I'm curious to see if his ulcers are healing as well.

This video is captures Lazarus's attitude. I know I've been writing a lot of not knowing to keep him fighting or not, but my choice is to fight as long as he does. He is showing me signs of his normal personality and wanting to keep on fighting to live. He seems happy, content, and willing to allow himself to heal.

Here the weather was cool, the wind was up and the horses were playful! Sawyer, the gorgeous chestnut (one of the barn owner's horses) was being a playful 3-1/2 yr old and got Laz acting up a bit. We obviously don't want Lazarus to strain or hurt himself as his back legs are trying to heal from his rotations but it's nice to see that he wants to play too. I think it helps his attitude to just act like a horse from time to time!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Today was a tough day. I had an appointment with the Vet this evening who took xrays earlier than we expected. About two weeks earlier after not liking the way Lazarus was taking to his shoes. We saw more rotation in both hind legs, with his right rear continuing to be the worse of the two. Tomorrow evening the farrier, comes out to try a new shoe with an egg bar, and wedge for the right rear to try and prop his inside roation over to alievate some of the pressure. From what it sounded like to me (and in gut) if this doesn't work to stablize him, if we see more rotation, I don't know what else can be done. I am praying this works and Lazarus is able to stablize and take a year, or more off if he needs to heal, and survive. The attitude in the room at the vet's between the Vet, the Farrier, the barn owners and myself felt dim. I'm at a loss of what to do next if this doesn't work. I wish there was more concrete tactics of laminitis, but it seems there is not and it varies so greatly from horse to horse. I am sick over the fact that the next 3-4 days are crucial in his healing.

Lazarus coming in for a carrot before I had left for the Vet's
Love that muzzle!
Ironically, this picture below, was taken before this news of our next attempt. Ignorance is bliss.
What makes all of this soooo hard, is that he still seems to have a lot of fight in him. Other than him not moving like normal (quickly, etc), he acts the same pretty much. He is calmer, but that may be because he knows me that much more, and is trusting more. Or maybe it's because he hurts. His digital pulses in his right rear remain up which is a bad sign of pain, I am told. I see him in pain when he is out of his sand, but in the sand, he is happy. What is humane? How hard do I make him fight? I am so afraid to think I should stop for his sake, and what if I end it too early? What if he can get better? Or what if I continue to spend the money I don't really have and he continues to kept getting worse and is in more pain? Am I hurting him or helping him? The vet told me he's seen people try until their horses lay down so much, they have bed sores...I don't want to do that to him. I don't feel he is in pain that he can't endure, although he is on a full tube of Equioxx every day for pain.
I wish I knew 100% what to do...I wish Lazarus could tell me.
For now, we are putting on a new shoe for his right rear to see if it helps and wait to see what happens.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Church of Lazarus

I wonder if I'm ruining my chances into heaven, when I say "I'm headed to Church" and it means going to the barn.
Well, I am a spiritual person but also often question authority and rules but I do lead my life as a good person and try to live by the Golden Rule.
Is it wrong I call the barn my Church? It seem especially fitting for the time spent there on a Sunday, and the feeling of peace I feel out there.
Oh well, if there aren't animals in heaven, then no thanks!

Today, we helped out at our boarding farm. It's the least we can do with the outstanding care and love we get there for our boy.
After hours picking up poop in the pastures, Billy was awarded with getting a lesson on the barn owner's 3 yr old QH gelding, Sawyer.

I literally thought I would wet myself taking this picture of my husband below! LOL! He has a great humor and makes me laugh daily.

Billy mounting up on his first ride since our honeymoon 3 yrs ago (not counting me hand walking him on Laz in the past year of course) on Sawyer. "C & J" 's beautiful and even keeled QH.
She kept him on the longe line to be able to help him out should he need it. Safety first!
Sawyer is a little dream tug boat to ride. I had ridden him around the round pen first to feel him out for Billy, and he was lovely. A little bittersweet when riding others, and wanting so badly to be on Lazarus, but I need to maintain my riding too for when (please please please) he is ready.
But look at Billy's heels below..way to go babe! Not easy for a guy who is 6' 4" and has ridden maybe 6 times in his life. ;)
Then I worked on Lazarus with carrot pilates. His muscles are getting so wobbly and weak from his stall/paddock bound life, that the stretching seems to relax him and hopefully make him feel better.
He does really well at the 'hugging' with his neck and the rewards of carrot hunks makes it worthwhile.

xoxo.Sweet boy.xoxo

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cocosoya snack

Ok, so I will first off apologize...for the life of me, I can not figure out how to flip this video I took on my Blackberry. I will try to only film now in non-portrait, but I thought this was too cute to not post.
Sorry for any sore necks this may cause!

video

Do any of you use Cocosoya as a top dressing?
Laz is currently off all his supplements and Cocosoya until we can get through this laminitis, so today was a treat for him. He got to lap up the bottom of the jug in all it's Cocosoya yumminess!
It smells like buttered popcorn, doesn't it!
Enjoy sweet Laz!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Gray days wiped away by brown bays

Blech..I'm not a fan of gray days. Cold, wet, rainy...not enjoyable!


But then, I got inside the barn and heard the sweeeetest nicker saying " Mom?!" Or was he actually saying "carrrrot time!!! YESSSS! Gimmmme!!"
I swear he thinks my phone/camera is something to eat.


We moved a salt and mineral block for him to lick, which he made out with that mineral block for about 1o minutes. Oops..should have moved it in sooner.
Still favoring, his right rear, shown below. Baby steps.

But here, you can see he is standing on it, not even thinking about it when he decides to paw at his playpen and prep it for a nice wet roll. Which he did, I'm quite sure after I left being I groomed him extra long today.


One new thing I noticed today, Lazarus is (I think) getting keen on me kissing his muzzle. As I was mucking out his stall, he kept turning in towards me and allowing me to kiss him several times. In the past, he would bop his head around, almost knocking me unconscious. Big improvement! LOL!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ahhh, shavings

So this morning, after my visit/grooming/re-wrapping/carrot feeding/love time with Laz, I decide to fluff up his bedding. I picked through his stall (mind you the barn owners keep it immaculate) but I try to do my part when I'm there. Now that Laz is able to go from his stall to his private paddock, he doesn't burn through the shavings as quickly. That being said, they still get compacted down by the end of the day, if not sooner.
So I cleaned it (princess and the pea comes to mind), and flipped it upside down. re-spread it and placed a layer of fresh shavings down.
Well, lookie who came in from his sand play pen for a nice "Thanks Mom, lemme roll and rub my scent in this nicely fluffed bedding" time.

'Watch this Mom!'
'ahhhhhh'

'And up I go, laminitis won't keep me from rolling!'

'yup, that smells better now'
'C-ya, I'm going back out!'

Monday, November 16, 2009

50/50

It's the ultimate; glass half full or glass half empty.

My Vet came out today to check on Lazarus, to see if he was moving around better than Friday after his four new shoes were placed. He was pleased that he is marginally doing better. That is better than showing new signs of pain, stress, etc, but it's only marginally better.

What he explained to me is we are now at the point, where the
re is a 50% chance. 50% chance Laz can recover and remain my pleasure riding horse with little or no pain/lameness.
Or...50% chance I will have to make a decision that if he isn't ride-able, or able to live a life pain free, that I would have to put him down. He reminded me that if he is living a life at 8 yrs old in daily pain, that it is a bit inhumane. I agree with that, however, at this point....that is only half of his chance, and there is still a chance that my future children could ride him. That Laz and I will have years together pleasurably hacking around, trail riding etc.
It was a tough thing to hear. I know it is (and has been) a reality, and probably his chances a month ago were even slimmer but we've made it past that point. My Vet assured me his pulses in his hind end are better, not throbbing as intensely. He is moving better than on Friday when he last looked at him. He also mentioned that if this rotation that Laz has was in his front end, he would have suggested me to put him down. How or why it's in his rear legs, is a mystery to all of us, but it's lucky for him and is giving him a better chance of survival.

So, I am staying positive and hopeful for us both. Lazarus's attitude is great lately but I do know he is hurting. But I tell myself, well, if I broke my leg..it would hurt, but you can heal and grunt through it. If I lived everyday in pain with every step I took, that is a different story. I couldn't put him through that..but to make the decision to take his life away? oh my god. ugh. How??? The sweet brown eyes that recognize me? His big hard head when he rubs in into me (I know bad habit but for now, I let it slide), his way of tenderly taking carrots, his big sighs, all these things that make him so special..so irreplaceable. So I again, am pushing that out of my mind for now.

Lazarus is to (as of today's visit) wear his new shoes for a month. We will take xrays with shoes on, and with shoes removed and review with vet what we see. If Laz shows new rotation, that is obviously taking us down a dark road. If Laz shows stability or healing, then we are headed in a better direction.

So, here's for my early Christmas wish...more time with Lazarus as a healthy boy!


~Here is a brief photo review of our first year together~

(Laz in Sept 08, when we rescued him fresh off the track. About 200 lbs under weight)
(photo in spring 09, starting to really look good!)

(this past winter 08/09 we worked a lot in the round pen, maintaining exercise, worked on ground manners and bonding)
(March 09..whoa spring time energy was sometimes scarrrry!)


(Early April, my first time able to give Laz a full body bath..and sheath cleaning, ek)

(This was a great day, we celebrated his 8th bday on April 25th..I'm March 25th. Cool huh?!)

(His muscles are looking great, and his summer coat was coming in nicely)

(Not bad for only a few months off the track; bareback and in a halter. All his allowing, I must say!)

(just loving on him)


(May 09; working harder to really ride properly)

(Rode a lot this spring/summer and still smiled)

(and today, Nov 16th 2009, we still have a way to go but he's comfortable and well loved for as long as we fight)