I will try and keep everyone updated with a sort of diary – while it may not be daily, I hope I can update regularly.

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Rugby napping in warm weather Friday

First of all, Lucky came in with a fever on Friday and acted quiet. We treated with the usual NSAIDS and the fever really didn’t go anywhere – neither up nor down. As luck would have it I had scheduled Coggins tests to be drawn Friday night and my vet was in the barn. She prescribed some more bute and said keep an eye on him in case it gets worse. He was eating, pooping, and peeing all normally. Strange. Colic? No – no real agony. Virus? No diarhhea, or signs of coughing or upper respiratory difficulty. Knocking you over to get to the feed tub. So in doing the late check, I walked in the barn to find him with a hugely swollen muzzle and steaming with a temperature almost 103 F. This AFTER bute and banamine! Obviously an allergic reaction to something. Treated with dex, and by midnight he was eating normally and looking at me like what are you doing waking me up in the middle of the night? Temp. was down to under 100.

Lucky betterSo we watched him carefully all weekend and believe it or not, back to nearly normal. Of course he was a tad tired and dehydrated from the temperature but with checking with my vet and my friends (Thanks, Lisa) I found he may have a tick-borne disease, such as Lyme’s. These symptoms seem typical of some of her horses who later were found to be positive for Lyme’s. Horses are particularly susceptible — big warm bodies in fields and under trees, where ticks like to live, and are good hosts with relatively thin coats and penetrable skin. We have ticks and it is not beyond imagination to think Lucky could have had it. The January-February-March time of year is also a time Lisa looks for the fevers, so scary incident #1 dealt with.

So while Lucky recovers and we continue to research his treatment, Rugby when hunting at a beautiful fixture near Easton, Maryland, on Sunday. Wye Heights was loaded with foxes and we had what we call a “barnburner”, where we run hard for a long time fast! Those of us with the GPS apps clocked us in at 13 miles, more or less. Some of the hunt horses that hunt twice a week really are fit; they breathe hard at the checks but recover so fast. It’s really cool to see a fit horse galloping. Rugby pulled and lugged down a bit toward the end, in the wonder bit — he hated the elevator bit before — so I am biting the bullet and putting him back in the big snaffle gag. He ends up tearing up his mouth because I have to stand up and back him off to get his head up from his knees when we check. Then he won’t eat for three days. So we are continuing to manage his Royal Highness….the saddest news of the weekend was I had to look up his papers to get information for the Coggins test, and he’s a foal of 1997 – making him 16 years old. Wow. Time goes by and you just don’t pay attention and he’s getting crochety …. and he’s SIXTEEN. No wonder!

DSCN3501Hamish! I am buckling down on getting Hamish’s dressage in order, as he is still barefoot. My footing is super right now so I can jump or hack or do anything I want with him but I am protecting his feet until I can get the shoes on him next farrier visit. In the meantime, on Saturday I rode him over an hour and hacked him from one end of the farm to the other, stopping to get the mail at the mailbox down on the road, and all the way around the track and through the scary woods by himself! We did several trot sets and several gallop / canter sets and ended with a long walk. He got a bath afterwards. It is a joy to ride him. I rode him after hunting for three hours on Sunday when I got back, I love riding him so much (and let me tell you my butt hurt.) In fact, when I went to get Rugby to load up for hunting Sunday morning, guess who was standing at the gate, staring at us? And he watched us go all the way out the backyard and down the drive. I could have cried. He wanted to go with us! Don’t worry, buddy. You’ll get your chance – soon! I intend on getting him out someplace this coming weekend so that we are set for the clinic on Saturday, Jan. 26 over at Breezy Run.

So that’s the diary entry for mid-January. If you are keeping a training diary, please post the link below in the comments section or on my FB page comments — so we can all keep up with one another’s progress! I would love to read about YOUR horses and what you are doing! 🙂