Thursday, October 25, 2018

ch-update

In my mind, there's some sort of clever way to combine the words "Chuck" and "up date" for a blog post title. But nothing ever quite sounds so cute when I actually write it out. Chuckdate? UpChuckDate? Idk. I try tho, I try.

dis my horse. there are many others like him. others with fewer dings and dents. but this one is mine. 
Anyway. Last we heard of our bay hero, we were fantasizing about bionic footwear. Bc homeboy busted another splint.

nobody's favorite sight in the field
It was so disappointing too. Like. I had all these Loch Moy schooling passes that were imminently expiring, so my friends and I were hustling like mad to find a day that worked for us to all get out there.

Meanwhile, one friend saw that Stephen Bradley (the last US rider to win Burghley, who also incidentally judged the recent YEH classes when I scribed) would be teaching lessons on the competition course as part of Loch Moy's "Week with the Pros."

well golly gee whiz, chuck. that sure is.... a.... leg
It was so perfect - obviously we would all go!! But one by one, my friends had issues crop up that meant they had to back out.

Not to be daunted tho, I was so resolutely stubborn about riding in this clinic. Esp after our Ralph Hill mulch-induced abscess fiasco. I even secured another rider to fill the empty spot in my trailer.

in our quiet time together recently, i discovered that, WOW, charlie has some serious eyebrows haha
And even tho the scheduling was tight, with literally not one single moment to spare to make it from north east of Baltimore City all the way over to almost Frederick for a 5pm lesson time across beltway rush hour.... Dammit, we would do it.

look at that freakin thing! it's like bangs but for his eye!!
Alas, as you already have surmised, it was not to be. I hustled out to Charlie's field only to be greeted by an enormously fat leg. Like one does when one owns a Charlie, I'm habituated to immediately doing a visual leg-check each time I see my horse.

So.... Ya know. It was pretty abundantly obvious from basically the first moment that Charlie would not be going on this cross country clinic. Ugh. Sigh.

(Tho of course I still went, having been so resourceful in scrounging up a trailer mate, it was too late to renege on driving now..... at least they had a great ride!)

returned to his friend with at least some of the dirt knocked off
My mind was already racing tho. Every single little alarm bell was chiming its warning. Bc.... Yea. I knew. This was the splint. You know. The one from April? That he did the morning before Full Moon. That we then rested, that healed. That has been sound and happy and completely clear and tight ever since.

But is now.... angry. To me, this was a pattern. This was July of last year when I thought my horse was fighting bell-boot-induced cellulitis but actually it was just an aggravation of his splint from the February before.

he always wants to say hi tho <3
Every single sane and trusted and reasonable adviser last year told me not to worry about the splints. That it was fine. Every vet looked at me a little side-eyed when my voice even so much as verged on hinting at panic.

It's a splint. It's simple. It doesn't move. It's not weight bearing. Get the swelling out. Ice, cold hose. Bute. SMZs to be safe. Wrap it. Poultice. What the fuck ever. Make it happy and all will be well. Conventional Wisdom.

"they told me i could be anything. so i became a donkey." - charlie, probably
Literally the only faction that said anything different was the useless internet troll contingent ("oMg FiRe YoUr VeT tHiS iNsTaNt") but ya know.... everything you read on the internet is true.

legs are so much nicer with definition tho!
It's still honestly not clear to me why Charlie's splint last year went so downhill. Why he kept aggravating it. Each aggravation was increasingly worse. Until the body eventually rejected the fractured bone fragment (nearly 8 months post fracture...), it abscessed, and Charlie was admitted for surgery at New Bolton.

this horse takes the "retired" part of retired race horse wayyyyyy too seriously tho
It makes my skin crawl to think we could be back on that same trajectory now. I just.... Ugh. The thought of laying Charlie out on a table for his third lifetime surgery (and second with me) is just so extremely unreasonably grotesquely excessive. But in my mind, we're already there. It's a forgone conclusion.

Again tho, every reasonable person thinks I'm actually legitimately fucking nuts. And yes, internet armchair quarterbacks, I *did* hire a new vet this time. And we did ALL the things. All of the expensive diagnostic imagery. All of the money. And each time she thought she had looked enough, I asked for more. And yes. She did in fact think I was wayyyyyy overboard.

ha. he is majesty. he is grace. he is..... like none other....
Bc.... It's just a fucking splint. It doesn't move. It doesn't bear weight. There's an old injury in there that she can see, from April, but it has healed. And does not appear at risk. There is nothing "discrete" as she called it. No signs of cellulitis. No signs of any sort of pocket of infection or abscess. Nothing but edema and hematoma.

Prescription? Ice. Cold hose. Wrap. Poultice. Bute. SMZs (and lots tho). Limited turnout. Until the swelling is under control. And then? Boom. Per vet's orders, we're entirely free to move about the proverbial cabin.

She cannot see literally anything in there to suggest anything - anything - else.

unrelated. sma snapper i found on a lake walk during a work trip. so cute tho!
I just..... ugh. Have feelings. Luckily tho, Charlie doesn't really seem too worried about it haha. It's like he knew I had him scheduled for a 2wk break at some point this fall and figured he'd pencil it in on his calendar as he saw fit.

For now, his day to day situation depends on the swelling. It lingered a little longer than I expected, but that's ok. He's been lucky that his own injury coincided with a pasture mate's abscess, so they've been keeping each other company in small paddock turnout.

As of last night tho, the leg looked alllllllmost as tight as might reasonably be expected. So hopefully it'll stay that way. The horse is definitely eager to return to his field.

And for my part? Eh, I'm not exactly what you would call "happy" -- but for once I'm not stressed about the saddle time we're missing. Not at all, not even a little bit. Charlie's a good boy. And an incredible riding partner. I want him to stay that way for a lonnnng time to come. So for now, we take it easy. Just workin on his Dad Bod 2.0 haha.

52 comments:

  1. Arrrghhh! How frustrating. But I'm glad you're not stressing so much about the lack of saddle time this go-around. Less stress is always better. Hopefully that damn leg will get with the program STAT and stay ON the program forever more.

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    1. Oh man I sure hope so too! As far as the vet is concerned there’s no reason to believe otherwise....

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  2. i liked reading this post... and i look forward to dad bod 2.0

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    1. Charlie really makes an art form of the “over the hill old man reliving his high school quarterback glory days” look lol. Just keep the sixers comin!!

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    2. indy has reached dad bod status by living in the biggest most lush field ever. I hope I can get spicy there!

      runkle never really went dad bod he went more... bulky kid who keeps soy protein in his locker because he wants to look jacked.

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    3. lol yup that sounds pretty freakin accurate! charlie is loving his big lush pasture too, and i'm pretty sure that's a big part of the reason his hooves have improved so much too. i'm sure Spicy will get there soon! maybe next spring he'll metamorphose like a big beautiful butterfly?? ;)

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  3. Ugh, I'm so sorry. I know how frustrating it is to deal with when old injuries rear their ugly little heads again. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it is *just* a splint and doesn't end up being a big deal again!!

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    1. Thanks! I mean as far as the vet was concerned I might as well have been wearing a tin foil hat and brewing up some cyanide laced koolaid. Like she was maybe even worried I was gonna knock the horse over myself and cut open the leg to start dissecting right then and there haha. She’s like “but really tho I don’t think we need to jump to any conclusions here!” So we will see I guess !

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  4. There should be stages of horse mom worry. Blergh I'll blog about mine soon but I'm there with ya

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    1. Oh man I’m like the quintessential mom of a teenager right now. “I’m not mad I’m just disappointed” lol. Oh well. I hope your mare is ok!

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  5. Dude. Charlie. JUST STOP ALREADY.

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    1. Charlie, listen to what Jen is saying!! Plz and for the love of god!!!

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  6. But like maybe by the time he's cruising around Prelim he'll have gotten all his injuries out of the way and he'll be the soundest, easiest keeper of all the upper of the lower level horses ever?

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    1. ha right??? tho before we can move up it sure would be nice to actually be able to make it to one of these lessons... ya know, details i guess. srsly tho if he ends up needing surgery again i might legit try to bribe the docs to take out the six other remaining splint bones too while they're at it. that's totally reasonable, right??

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  7. Dammit Charlie. Give your mom a damn break!

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    1. srsly! tho i guess i have to admit we had a pretty solid run of things for a while there, even with the Mulch Incident. i guess we were due....

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  8. CHARLES. I know you like to think you are being kind by sending vet's kids to college, but YOU'RE NOT.
    So sorry you didn't make it to SB - hopefully got some good stuff out of auditing? Would love to hear about it, after riding with him this summer!

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    1. unfortunately the audit experience was.... not great. it was i guess the end of a long day for him and he was pretty focused on his riders, while those of us on the sidelines were virtually ignored. tho the organizer did send me a concerned email the next day since he told her i hadn't shown up.... despite riding with him in the gator the whole time and paying him too. so idk. maybe he just didn't realize what i was trying to tell him? anyway maybe in a format where he's expecting auditors he would have more to say share or explain. but i'm thinking he's best experienced from horse back rather than from the ground -- there really wasn't much to glean.

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  9. Charlie! Couldn't he have waited until January when literally nothing is going on? I'm so sorry. I really am. It sucks to miss things, but you seem to always have a really good attitude about it. Charlie is lucky to have you :)
    And OMG that baby snapping turtle! I didn't think it was real at first!

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    1. yea the missing things part really sucks. at least this time i only lost the cost of the clinic we had entered - there was enough time before our next competition that i was able to scratch without losing any of that. for once lol...

      and yea that snapping turtle was kinda a shock - it was right in the middle of the path, had somehow gotten outside the netting set up specifically to keep the turtles off the path lol. i wasn't even sure it was alive when i first saw it, but he was! i put him right back on the shore so hopefully he's safer there...

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  10. Hoping Charlie heals up quickly! It's like he's so wonderful and perfect, the universe has to intervene to keep it real :)

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    1. lol i think you might be right about that..... tho like, i always think of that joke venn diagram for horse shopping: "fancy, sane, and sound -- choose 2." tho i guess in charlie's case we only got 1, unless i guess if you replace "fancy" for "super capable" bc he's got that in spades!! the sound part tho.... therein lies the challenge!

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  11. Could the splint also be a tiny adorable turtle? (wait no you guys checked it out but I can dream right?) I would have used Chucupdate which still uses the full word of update but I dunno either, yours are all good too minus maybe UpChuckDate.

    Well I'm glad the new vet seems unconcerned and Charlie is already climbing the hill towards right, the timing as always royally sucks with Horses.

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    1. lol chucupdate works too! makes me think of chocolate cupcakes for some weird reason too, which obvi never hurts.

      and yes. 1,000% if that splint where actually a tiny little snappa i wouldn't even be mad tbh

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  12. Sorry about the Charlie Saga (SO MUCH DRAMA CHARLIE) HA hope he bounces back quickly. That turtle though OMG SO CUTE!

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    1. thanks! and ha that turtle kinda made my day tbh -- so cute tho!!

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  13. Oh Charlie... He wants you to stop making plans and just buy him LOTS OF TREATS and then he promises he'll stay sound and very, very fat. Just keep stuffing him with his favorite treats. If you add his damaged leg to Subi's 3 stocked up and hot legs (I could do a blog post the recent adventures of the chestnuts but I'm not sure what happened), we might have 4 working legs between 2 horses!

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    1. ugh Subi.... this has been such a ridiculously tough season for skin funk, we have all manner of tree trunk legs around these parts too! tho actually we've also seen a few cases of that tick borne anaplasmosis which can sometimes cause big fat legs, tho it's usually paired with lethargy and fever...

      but yea. long story short. ugh. i relate. c'mon horses, you have FOUR LEGS for a reason!

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    2. The hot and fat legs on Subi (and Batt, but I'm ignoring him -- he's got to fat hind legs but they seemed a bit better this morning) were caused by a jaunt running loose around the neighborhood yesterday while I was at work. The cops were called. I have no idea HOW they got out but they were tucked in the field when I got how and the only evidence was a business card from a state trooper and torn up lawn... I really don't think my arthritic senior (or Batt) could have jumped 4'... And we don't use the gates so they're always closed unless someone opened one.

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    3. oh wow, well that sounds marginally disastrous :( glad it wasn't worse, but yea it would freak me out a little bit trying to understand how on earth they even got loose! ugh horses, they always find a way, don't they ...

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  14. Aww man, I don't even know what to say. He's such a walking accident! Get it together, Charlie! I like reading that you are not stressing, because really what will it help, right? :-( <3

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    1. yea i mean, i'm sad for sure. and plenty worried about what the future might hold regarding this injury... but.... yea. like you say, what can i do? just try to keep him on the right path i guess, and otherwise just take it as it comes...

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  15. Bionic legs to the rescue :) Seriously though Charlie needs to realize ASAP what a cush existence he landed himself and get back on the sound train again.

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    1. ugh right?!? bionic legs would be great tho.... honestly i do believe charlie likes his job, but he also sure seems to enjoy the vacations too!

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  16. UGH... someone needs to explain to Charlie that the "fifth leg" that event horses have is a figure of speak. He does not need to keep trying to actually GROW a fifth leg.

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    1. omg tho isn't that exactly what it looks like in some of the pictures???? like he's trying to sprout a whole new leg right out of the existing one.... tho hey, maybe in the grand scheme of things it would improve his way of going to have forked feet?!

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    2. lol I would love to see a Dressage judge try to score that...

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  17. What in the world, Charlie!? How frustrating, especially the timing of it all.

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    1. definitely not ideal. not at all. i'm not totally giving up hope for some of the fun things we want to do this fall, but it does seem like the competition season will be over now. unfortunate, since i had hoped to get out once more. but not the worst thing in the world. at least we finished on a relative high at the last show!

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  18. CHUCKLES.

    JUST STAHP.

    Sidenote - you are a good horsey momma <3

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    1. aw thanks <3 i feel like i try really really hard to do my best, but this horse definitely keeps me on my toes!

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  19. My god, that is the biggest splint I have ever seen!
    I hope it heals up quickly!

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    1. right?!? it's freakin giant ----- especially considering there's literally nothing nefarious going on in there from a medical perspective, at least not anything that stands out using any of the common diagnostic imagery techniques.... meanwhile when the injury first happened, it was big for one single day then receded to basically nothingness. this horse, i just wish i understood what he was up to at a cellular level haha....

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  20. DAMN IT EVIL SPLINT BONE!! Don't you just kinda want to take them out? ALL THE SPLINTS! TAKE THE BACK ONES TOO! MIGHT AS WELL! That's about where my mind would be going in your position because I'm also a verified psycho. I literally have like an hour phone convo with my mom last night about whether I should cancel a show and go for a lameness work-up multiple hours away for a horse that is dead sound. I'm that cray cray. SO SORRY EMMA!

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  21. I think Charlies special skills are very under appreciated! I mean what other horse is so good at throwing mega splints?

    So sorry emma, heres hoping he heals this one quick!

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  22. Chuckdate. Chupdate. Upchuck. Uckdate. Chate. Hmmm... Charlate. Uplie? Updalie? Chardate? Chucklate? Upchuckle?

    Maybe we need to try other words? Charlucidate? Chexpound? Chucticulate? Chucount? Recountlie? Charlinform? Chuckblab? Blablie? Eh? Eh? Too far?

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  23. Stupid splints ruining all the fun!! I'm really sorry you missed out on the clinic, but I think Charles knows he's lucky to have you!

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  24. WOW that is a SPLINT. CHARLIE. I'm glad it's going down tho! I must admit that it was extremely validating when my vet here kept asking me how long I'd had Amber/how long I'd known her, and he quite often differed to my concern because of it. Charles is...well...Charles haha so I'd be in the same boat as you with how it all is playing out. I hope it continues to get better though!

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  25. I know that it's just a splint but given what happened before I would also be freaking out. But you can't panic yet, because it could just do what splints usually do. right?

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  26. I hope you get him sorted soon. I completely understand the "OMG Danger Injury Death" feels, though.

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    1. i'm sure you do - i'm so sorry about your mare :( i've been following along with your updates on the foal and am seriously hopeful that she's turned the corner! hang in there!

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