Sunday, 28 August 2011

A trip to the beach! :D

Since we were doing well with our hacking rehab, I wanted to find something fun to do with Hopalong before going back to the vets (again!!) for a final check up at the start of September.  I had thought of trying a wee local showing show which had veteran classes but the weather spoiled that plan and it was rained off.  Maybe it was just that the show organiser heard I wanted to bring my wonky donkey?! ;)

So instead, we opted for a fun trip to the beach with my friend Victoria and her lovely horse Millie.  Bob was dragged along to take photos and we had a blast. :D  Hopalong was very brave and waded into the scary waves up to her knees (I'm pretty sure Bob was disappointed that she didn't send me swimming with a spook!) and had great fun racing Millie along the beach. :D

Millie and Hopalong head down to the beach.
A wee trot to warm up.
Leaving poor Millie behind!
All four feet off the ground, "flying"! :D
Giving the waves the evil eye!
Trying to avoid them...
Being persuaded they won't eat her and having a trot/canter through them. :)
She's a racehorse don't ya know! ;)

Monday, 1 August 2011

Early end to 2010. :(

So having had a really fun season being far braver than I imagined I would be and finishing our BE events on a real high at Turnberry, Hopalong picked up an injury at the end of September 2010. :(

Not really sure how she did it, she was ridden and went out to the field fine one evening and came in hopping lame the next morning. :(

We tried a period of rest to see if that would help and although she got better, she was still very sore. :(  It was her left hind (again... she has previously injured her annular ligament and had a hairline fracture in her pelvis, all on the left hind!) although did not seem to be her old annular ligament injury- it seemed higher up.

Vet came out to have a look and agreed but couldn't really pin point anything.  So we arranged an appointment with Andrew McDiarmid at Clyde Vet Group who came highly recommended to me by just about everyone who has needed a lame horse looked at.  He ruled out the old annular ligament injury causing problems with a nerve block and found swelling around her left stifle.

X-rays and ultrasound scans backed this up but didn't show any significant/major damage either, so a bit of a puzzle.  He wanted to try a course of Cartrophen injections (1 a week x 4) to see if this would help her heal.  This was combined with box rest/in hand walking and although she was much better than originally, she still wasn't right.

So back to Andrew again and this time he tried a hyaluronic acid/cortisone injection to the stifle plus some ridden walk work (still on box rest :( ) to see if this would work.  Again... still not right, but only marginal lameness, about 2/10.

The only options left were to either leave it and see or have Andrew perform arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) into the stifle with a fibreoptic camera to see if he could pinpoint the injury/tidy up damaged cartilage etc.  This was done early Feb 2011 and was very nerve wracking, although Andrew assured me that Hopalong was fit and healthy enough to undergo the general anaesthetic required. :s

Happily, she came round just fine from the surgery and Andrew at last had an answer- grade II (out of III) damage to her cruciate ligament. :(  There was nothing he could do to aid recovery while in investigating, it was deemed to be a "time is the greatest healer" situation.

So yet more box rest with some inhand walking (poor Hopalong!) and then (thankfully!) out to the field for a further 3 months field rest with a check up to follow.

Hopalong was very happy to be back out in the field again and had 5 mad minutes showing me just how happy she was before settling down to the important business of eating!  Very nervewracking to watch and pray that she wasn't going to reinjure herself, but thankfully all seemed fine.

 We went back for our check up at the start of July and Andrew was very happy with her recovery. :)  He said to gradually try bringing her back into work with some quiet hacking, gradually increasing time spent riding/amount of trot work/introduce canter again once fitter.  Great news! :)

Here is some onboard footage from our first hack out- a whole 10mins up the road and back! ;)  But finally a chance again to look through "batears" and the best view in the world. :)
I am very happy to be back on board, Hopalong doesn't look so sure! ;)

So we spent 2 months being happy hackers, gradually upping the distance/trot work and Hopalong feeling very keen and enthusiastic about being back out and about again. :)  It was perfect timing with it being July/August and so able to make the most of our Scottish "summer"... well, at least it was light in the evenings after work, if not sunny all the time?! ;)