Friday, December 1, 2017

gimme an "O"! gimme an "M"! gimme an "E"!

And .... a few more letters too, and what do you get?? Omeprazole!! Yay!!

Actually, honestly, I'm not totally convinced Charlie is that ulcery. He's a surprisingly ... not ulcery kinda horse. Especially compared to Isabel. I like it!

all that gear.... patiently waiting to get dusted off. eventually!!
But he did just spend a significant period of time on stall rest, during which he was occasionally a ball of anxiety and stress. And he has lately been noticeably grouchy sour and touchy. So.... This is a box we can check off in helping Charlie feel his absolute best.

Therefore the horse started a month long course of omeprazole (am I the only one who playfully pronounces it as "oh-mee-prah-zoh-lee"????) and will hopefully come out the other end feeling like he's got guts of iron.

While I'm not convinced that tummy troubles are behind Charlie's recent spate of sourness, it definitely feels like something is buggin him.

so eager to return to adventures!
The likeliest culprit is that ever sluggish right hind leg. And the likeliest remedy is... plain old strength building. Which, naturally, is exactly what Charlie would rather not, thankyouverymuch. But them's the breaks, I guess.

We kinda went through this whole song and dance of tiptoeing around his resistance to being driven forward (esp when it's a little uncomfortable) last fall and winter when he was fresh off the track. Complete with every variation of professional medical advice. So I feel like I understand him and his emotional and physical needs a lot better this time around. Hopefully, lol.

soon enough tho, soon enough
In the meantime tho, it's back to doing all those little things to hopefully keep Charlie feeling his best even when he's gotta go through the rigors of building muscle the old fashioned way.

First up: he finally got to see his favorite massage therapist again last night! It's been a little while bc obvi he was on stall rest, and then she was out of commission from a mounted archery related incident (she's, uh, kinda a badass). But everybody is back in business now, so Charlie got his favorite flavor of TLC: a nice long massage.

old pic but his face is too freakin funny lol. that magical mix of "stranger danger" and "but plz don't stop!"
It was useful for me too bc I got to let off some steam about being convinced we'll have to inject everything from the eyeballs down asap just to get him healthy, starting naturally with the mother of all injections, the SI. To which the massage therapist gave me a look then deftly demonstrated Charlie's absolute lack of any reaction whatsoever to being palpated through his SI. So.... thanks lady for saving me a couple hundred right there!

Of course there are plenty other ways to try solving my rehabbing horse's lack of fitness with money (as opposed to, ya know, fitness training lol). So perhaps he'll see his chiro-acupuncture practitioner sometime in the near future too. Maybe next month? We'll see haha.

throwback to his last chiro appt. might be due for another soon!
And in the meantime.... things continue to be fairly quiet around here. The vet said Charlie could start some low jumping sometime in the next week or so. Which for our purposes will probably be some combination of "play time" for long suffering Charles, and ground pole / cavaletti type grids or gymnastics to help rebuild his hind end. Always walking that fine line between enough work to engage the muscles but not so much as to make him excessively sore.

In other words, we're basically on the event horse version of a "couch to 5K" fitness plan, except we've got like three months to make it happen. Thank god for the off season, right?

Do you have stuff you like to do for your horse to help them feel their best while coming back into work and going through the arduous process of rebuilding strength?

29 comments:

  1. The ulcer meds won't hurt him and I think you are wise to try it. It can be so hard when they don't want to go forward- it leads to so many questions (and expensive bills from the vet, farrier, saddle fitter....). I think he will enjoy going to back to work no matter what he thinks about it right now.

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    1. yea i tend to agree - we just kinda gotta get over this hump. and a big part of that means me just pulling on my big girl pants and riding him through (or, er, *over*) it lol. for me, personally, it helps me feel a little more confident in being firm and assertive in the saddle when i know i've already done my due diligence in making sure the horse is physically able to do what i'm asking. as opposed to feeling wishy washy bc i'm worried about him trying to tell me something more important than "grr it's hard!". know what i mean?

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  2. im a terrible horse owner in that I just plunge right back in. I know what Gm is basically capable of even when she is out of work and I sorta take the attitude of “no time like the present!” And go for it within her baseline abilities. But I treat myself the same way too.

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    1. eh i don't think there's anything in the world wrong with that! you've ridden Gem over 100+ miles in a single go -- i think it's pretty fair to say you know what kind of stuff she's mad of lol. isabel was a bit like that too. charlie is a new experience for me, esp as an ottb he's got a shit work ethic and a bit of a sour attitude towards work. the complicating factor is that some (or most) of that attitude is based fully in reality - he's got very real reasons for some of his resistance. so i gotta really try to figure out what's real, what needs attention, and what he just kinda has to push through even tho he doesn't want to. always a balancing act!

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  3. I do the same thing with setting up various appointments with people that do some sort or body work. We have a really cool vet who specializes in postural rehab and uses acupuncture, laser, K-tape, stretches, and whatever else she has found to work. It's really cool to watch her work b/c she analyzes everything! She'll watch them walk in a straight line, on a circle, see how they trot, and can pinpoint where they're stuck or need work. She also looks at their food and gives helpful suggestions on what she thinks might help, and then writes up an extensive report at the end with homework. Chimi always feels amazing after she works on him and I've noticed a big difference in bringing Chimi back to work and when he's in full work when she works on him. Though he also responds really well to any form of bodywork so I think he's a junkie ;) Anything for the Flying Burrito though!!

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    1. oooooooh that person sounds amazing!! i haven't had any experience with really any type of body work beyond the basic massage / chiro / acupuncture but i'm *fascinated* by the lasers and magna wave and whatnot. all that stuff. and i love a practitioner who really takes a broad, holistic view of the horse (which is part of why i enjoy using the same practitioners over and over again - they really get to know both me and the horse). like, i acknowledge and am cool with the fact that we are all flawed beings and no horse will ever be like.... 100% symmetric in every dimension. and aches and pains come with the territory of athletic endeavors. but it's also cool to really dig into all the various ways of keeping the ponies happy!

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  4. "Couch to 5k" for the event horse... sounds like you could make some money off that app!

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  5. Curious as to what you are using for your source for Omeprazole treatment. My mare was on stall rest/controlled exercise for some shoeing changes and I put her on gastric support, too.

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    1. i've used basically everything i know of over the past few years. at various times, isabel had courses of gastrogard, ulcergard, and abler products (at that time i used the blue pop rocks for her, tho they would not work for charlie bc his meals must be soaked and those things are supposed to stay dry until the last possible moment of being eaten by the horse). isabel also got regular gastric supplements in the form of magnesium oxide and calcium carbonate formulations, plus aloe juice as a top dressing on her meals. and alfalfa. lots and lots of alfalfa.

      charlie has been on a liquid formulation called "u-shield" - basically liquid tums as far as i can see - for a while. when i treated him last year i'm pretty sure i used ulcergard tubes, tho it was possibly abler's generic omeprazole tubes.

      this time around my current vet actually prescribes a powder form of generic omeprazole, and charlie gets a scoop AM and PM for 30 days. it smells like cake, yum.

      another regular non-treatment supplement i haven't tried yet but that my friend brita uses and my trainer P swears by is your standard ranitidine. you can buy it in bulk at costco (the ppl version) and then feed like, a dozen pills at a time (not exactly sure of that number but it's a lot) per day as a way to just help keep the tummy happy. good luck! and lmk if any of this makes sense or if you have more questions!

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  6. My old mare would come off injuries really sour and honestly it just took time to rebuild her work ethic. She liked the lazy horse life too much!

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    1. yea.... that sounds like basically exactly what we're dealing with in charlie lol. he's like, "wait a sec guys, i'm a *retired* race horse, remember? RETIRED. sheesh!"

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    2. ^^^ God, this is so my horse. She likes the "retired" racehorse life a little too much. I mean, she is quiet as all hell, but geesh. I'm like, "forward is GOOOOOD" and she's like "nah, not so much". The trade-off for a quiet brain?

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    3. hahaha yessss. like i am eternally appreciative of charlie's quiet laid back attitude. it's what's allowed him to move along in some aspects of his training pretty freakin quickly. but it's also the same thing that makes it harder to progress elsewhere lol. like. c'mon horse. you can be quiet AND be forward at the same time!!!

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  7. Definitely the smartest route to check off as much as you can physically. I know and hate that feeling where you are needing to push a horse but have all the 'what ifs' in your head. Agh, and the people with so many opinions as to what the problem is come out of the woodwork which just makes it worse! :P

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    1. yea i hate feeling like "what if" too. uncertainty is NOT my favorite! but. ya know. we do what we can. luckily not too many ppl in my world come at me with unsolicited advice or opinions since i tend to be.... anything from indifferent to openly hostile toward that sorta thing lol. and am also fortunate enough to be surrounded by a bevy of professionals and peers whom i trust and rely on. but yea, like you say, ppl will have their opinions and are only ever too happy to share!

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  8. NEEDS MOAR COOKIES!!! I feel like that would help the rehabbing process exponentially. It sucks you missed the end of the season, but like you said, it's nice you can get all your strength rebuilding done now and not have to worry about it in the spring.

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    1. yea honestly i'm super grateful to not have any scheduling pressure on us for now. i love having things on the calendar, but charlie's just not at a place right now where it makes sense to push him beyond his pace. more cookies can only improve things tho. always more cookies. all of the cookies. forever.

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  9. JUMPS! So excite! Much fun! I have 30 days to go for Bird's Vacation Time, am counting the days. And watching your re-building with Sir Charles... well, that'll be me in less than a month. I hope you get him straightened out and back to his more amenable self. Keep us posted!

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    1. i definitely will! hopefully it'll be more exciting than how things have been going lol. i shouldn't complain tho - rehab beats layup by a mile! exciting that Bird will be getting there soon too!

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  10. I could definitely use a massage. I wish I had a thoughtful owner.

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    1. shhhhh the overlords will hear you!

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    2. BAHAHAHAHA I love this comment :)

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  11. At least it’s a good time for this all to be happening, since it’s your guys’ off season, right? I’m on an injections kick right now (I haven’t actually had any done, but I’m convinced all the injections would solve all the problems 🙄), but I agree that strength training would be more prudent 😂

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    1. well.... uh, in fairness, the horse has been lame with the splint injury since september, had surgery in october, after which he was on stall rest for an extended period, and has only returned to rehab during the past month. during which point he's been creaky from the time off and is proving to be grouchy about the return to work. so. ya know. "this all" has been happening for a couple months now lol, and i missed three events (two of which i had already been entered in, one of which i lost my entire entry and lost an office fee from the other). so yea, it's technically the off season *now* but.... uh, yea. this ain't new news either lol

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  12. Oh man... Horse massage and chiro!? What a kept man!

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  13. I love that you pronounce Omeprazole with an Italian accent! I have to try that. Knight's on it right now too (AGAIN!). Ciao!

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  14. I’ve given a couple rounds of ulcergard just to make the lil dude more comfortable. In his case it’s always helped, but yeh... can’t hurt either way! That massage pic is priceless!

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  15. Blergh, I really hope it's not his tummy. We've made it through the season without another ulcer bout (knock on wood) - here's to hoping he comes around with a bit more strength in his hind

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