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...

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Egg Shoe

video

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)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Four shoes and a new playpen

After two weeks of being completely stall bound, Lazarus got the OK for some new changes in his day. The last xray results (showing no further rotation) allowed us to get four shoes on with Vettec for support with hopes he won't rotate any further. I'm told this is often trial and error and we can just hope for good results.
Hope has gotten me this far..and I've got lots of hope left!

So, when I first arrived, Lazarus was just hanging out in his stall not moving hardly at all. The vet warned me the shoes are trial and error with his improvement. He definitely was showing more signs of being lame. I did notice that once he did start moving, he moved a bit more and more. He is majorly favoring his right rear, which has the most severe rotation.

After checking in briefly with Laz, I took Mason and Pudge to play in the arena and burn off some of their crazy energy. Living in the city/suburb area, these boys love their farm days! Mason especially! I always think, if Mason were a horse...holy cow, what an athlete!
He had fun jumping the cavelletti poles and racing around. With Billy gone for hunting season this weekend, the pups were due for some major play time and I always feel bad leaving them behind at home when I head to the farm.

It was such a beautiful sunny day, I urged Lazarus out with some carrots to stand in his new 16' x 14' deep sand pasture approved by his vet. Maybe it's me, but I love him being able to get outside, breathe the fresh air and stand in the light.


Here is a close up shot of his shoes and the Vettec (which acts like a Nike Shock) for support for the laminitis. Right now, he is not acting like he gets relief from the shoes. Vet is coming back out on Monday to check in so we'll see.
You can see the part under his heel bulb is the Vettec which acts as a cushion silicone type pad that sticks to a mesh barrier in between the shoes and his hoof. Crazy but supposedly there are good results out there. It's a lot easier on us, not having to change out the Styrofoam pads which we did for a month.

In his new pasture/run in, he is able to chat with the other horses which I know he enjoys. They are sweet too, coming up to the gate and spending more time up there than normal, I think giving him support and company.

Pudge was hanging out in Laz's stall as I changed out his standing wraps. He was so intrigued by Lazarus and vice versa. This is only their second time meeting each other.

This was a funny shot I took as I was re-wrapping Lazarus, I notice Pudgie just sitting in his stall looking out, completely unaware of the 12oo lb animal that could stomp him.

On a normal day with Lazarus feeling better (aka not favoring his rear) Pudge may not have been so lucky. This made me nervous and made me laugh that Pudge just trotted right out behind Laz with no fear. Not smart. After this, I shut the door for Pudge's safety. Have to laugh at the French Bulldog no fear mentality. Pudge is a puppy mill rescue, so now that he has bonded with us, he really bonds and wants to be with us every minute.
Mason playing with Caitlyn, the farm owners dog.
Pudge not sure he is so into the farm life, his brothers loves so much.

Here is a better view of what Lazarus has now for his healing. We hope he can handle this for the next 30 days. So far, so good other than showing new signs of adjusting to shoes. He is able to go in and out as he pleases 24/7.

The kind eyes of a fighter.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ladybug luck?

So in preparing for tomorrow's 3rd round of xrays, I wanted today to be just relaxing and enjoying Lazarus. Nothing to stress him out (ie changing his Styrofoam shoes, which was a total struggle yesterday that we just couldn't do it) and to try to keep him calm and happy. I'm not sure what my gut is telling me. It doesn't feel great, and it could be because I'm nervous of a dismal outcome, or could be I don't want to jinx any good luck we may have. So, I thought, I can't do anything until I have any sort of news from the vet, which I will get in a couple days anyway...so today, we will just hang out with each other, in his stall.
Quietly to enjoy his company, his smell, his breathing, his chewing, his being.
So that is what Lazarus and I did.

When I arrived, he was just fed so he was mowing on his grass hay happily. Could that chewing sound be anymore soothing?
This is how his back looked when I arrived!
Did I mention, I groom this fine beast everyday. EV-ERY-DAY! He loves to roll in his bedding (actually anything) and it made me happy that he is rolling and able to roll/get up even with his laminitis. So I happily brushed him clean again.
I got this shot by accident. I try to bring my blackberry camera in with me to snap photos as I see fit. Being I keep my phone in my vest pocket, and usually carrots in the other, Lazarus usually nose bumps my phone just making sure it's not a carrot. This resulted in this photo, but actually turned out to be a nice capture of his perfect little 'star' which, is clearly a crescent moon!
I know I said, I was there to not stress him out, and just enjoy him, but OK, I did cry a little. Maybe a lot even. I'm just dealing with this roller coaster of this laminitis and it's tough. I'm trying to be positive and prepare myself at the same time, and all it really does is make me empathise with my little bay man and him trying so hard to get better.

So then, this happened.
A ladybug out of nowhere (well the sky I presume) flew into his stall and landed on Laz's ear. He quickly twitched it off while face first in his hay, and the little ladybug flew onto the side stall door..which I was able to capture below.
See that little lump above the wood grain knot?
It was this little Lady!
Now, I have to say it made me SMILE and think, "come on, that has to be good luck!" And didn't we learn as kids that the more spots the bugs carried, the more power to their luck! I swear I recalled that in a flash second. At any rate, I'm taking this as a good sign!
So back to loving sweet Lazarus. His ears are one of my favorite parts. I love love love the black tips and how they are getting so furry right now.
I love that Laz loves when I rub his ears. He is not the least bit ear shy, like so many TB's can be. He leans into the ear rubs and I often would rub his ears from atop his back, when riding him.
After giving him a gentle grooming to remove the shavings, I snapped this photo of his shoulder. One of my favorite blogs/blogger pals, KATE, had taken a photo up close of one of her mare's coat and I loved that shot. So, I attempted our own. His coloring has so much orange, red, brown to it making him a true blood bay.

Even though Lazarus is 100% TB (ottb), I think he has Arab-esce eyes. They are big, round and so curious and kind. He has had his days where those eyes are bratty, menacing and wild, but certainly not today where he was just a sweet baby boy.

This shot below, is a favorite (other than our good luck ladybug) and was taken while I was re-wrapping his leg wraps. Lazarus just gazed happily out of his stall door and let out a huge content sigh. I think he seemed happy to have some company inside his stall and I'm taking this time for our bonding to grow stronger.