Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Re-building the Bear

Teddy and I competing back in the day. 

Other then the main star of the show (Prophet, of course!), I own a couple of other awesome beasts, and of course ride some awesome beasts that I don't own. 

Poor Teddy Bear falls into a category all his own.  I don't own him, and don't ride him.  I did ride him for two GLORIOUS seasons at the semi-upper levels, after it was decided I could take him in 'retirement'.  I guess the semi-upper levels are retirement for a horse that's run around most of the ***s of the world, at the long format, plus Rolex **** (long format), and being apart of both the Irish and Canadian Teams.  He was a dream, and I owe him so much for what he taught me. 

He is stilled owned by EC.  However, I have taken him as my own, that way I can dictate how he lives out his years.  

One thing that's always been a struggle with Ted is his feet.  He's had hospital-plates, glue ones, sigafoos, aluminum, pads, etc. etc. etc.  Very low sole, very little heal.  Luckily, for the past couple of years, he's been fairly well managed in the field by going barefoot.  Recently however, he's been giving me a bit of a scare with a laminitis episode, brought on by a bit of Cushings.  Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

When you have a horse with sore feet, anyway, who's feet get even more sore, it's a bad combo. Really bad.  

So, I've been doing what every good, responsible horse owner does.... researching, talking, researching, talking, and then having bouts of crying fits while hugging his leg, while John stands in front of him feeding treats.  

When he first started having issues I figured it was the normal foot soreness that he experiences from time to time. Then I began to realize it was something more.  Luckily, my wonderful vet, Dr. Kate Lombardi of Lombardi Mobile Equine (www.lombardiequine.com) helped get a plan together.  I spent alot of time cutting and shaping pads and using my trusty Hoof Wraps (www.hoofwraps.com) to help make him more comfortable. Luckily, Bryan of HW was on the ball to send me more wraps as I needed them!  

My mom was in town during the worst of it, which was a good thing and a bad thing -- we'd had a horse founder and rotate through all 4 feet (who, 20 years later, is still alive and healthy, thanks to the treatment and nursing by my dad), so although she could tell me tips to keep Teddy happy, she also had alot of horror stories, that I didn't really remember seeing as I was only about 6 or 7 at the time. 

It became apparent that I needed more help with the hoof support then what I as able to structure with the Hoof Wraps.  Teddy had busted open some subsolar abscesses in both front feet, and I was fearing we weren't seeing the worst of things yet.  After some research, I decided on the Soft Ride Boots (www.softrideboots.com)  as opposed to shoeing or anything.  Although they weren't an instant fix, I kept them on him in the hopes that he would become more comfortable in the long run. 

In the meantime, everyone was concerned about the fact that we'd tried Banimine and also Bute to cute through the pain and inflammation and nothing was having a major impact.  He was having some good days, but also bad ones.  2grams of bute 2x day is ALOT, and I just was in all on panic mode that nothing was going to get him feeling better. 

On a whim, I decided to start him on the Cur-OST product that I receive through a generous sponsorship (www.curost.com) .  I'd used the product on a few of my performance horses and was pleased with the results, but I guess until I tried it in a nearly life-or-death situation, the effectiveness wasn't so noticed.  Well, this time I noticed, and within a day or two.

Quickly, the 4 grams a day when down to 2 grams a day, and now to 1 gram a day.  I will be taking him off the bute all together tomorrow, and expect that he will be absolutely fine.  

I'm happy to say that Teddy is now back out on pasture, in his Soft Ride boots, on his Cur-Ost and Cushings management supplements, and the future is looking bright! 

While Teddy was 'contained' in the small paddock, he befriended the baby donkey, Irene, with whom he shared many of his meals. 

Teddy footprints in the pile of sand we had brought in to support his feet. 

Teddy last year. 

Teddy in the snow last year. 

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