Today was the day Lily went to the vet. I was a little nervous, of course, given her unloading issue, but I decided to think positive. Besides I'm very worried about her limping.
Sierra went with me and we got busy packing a few supplies. Grabbed cookies, alfalfa, brushes...
Then we had to figure out why we were getting shocked by the trailer (turns out it was touching the electric fence!). Hmm. I wonder if it's been doing that the whole time...
So once we solved that mystery, I put grain in her bucket, Lily got right in, I latched the butt bar and off we went!
Then at the vet she got right out, nice and calm.
Fixed, I thought to myself.
Yeah. Right. Proving once again that I am a moron.
Okay, a little harsh. But STILL.
Dr. Blevins, after doing another block (on the back of her leg instead of the front, just behind the coffin joint) and she went completely sound he recommended we try treating her with an injection designed to increase the lubricant around the coffin joint area mixed with a steroid.
He was quite thorough in his explanation, I'm just terrible at conveying it.
The next three days is stall rest and then in about 10 days we should know if it is working. If not, then we have to get more x-rays and such. Here she is getting her shot for the nerve block.
I came back at the end of the day to pick up Lily.
And Lily declined to load. For 45 minutes. Finally we had to whack her on the butt to get her to load, stay loaded and get the butt bar in place.
I've never had trouble loading her before, it was just the unloading. But here it was. She'd go in, then she'd back out. She'd go in and refuse to move over for the butt bar. She'd get her front feet in and just stand there. We tried light line lunging (the horse is supposed to be on stall rest. lunging seemed like not a good idea - at least not too much). Running her backwards. Pushing her out of the trailer before she decided to leave to show her who was in charge. Finally just whacks on the butt worked. But I think it set up what happened next.
Then, when we got back home I opened her window to give her some alfalfa, thinking it would give her something to focus on so she wouldn't bolt out. It seemed to help when we unloaded at the vet.
I went to open the butt bar and she pushed against it. I told her no and tapped her lightly with my hand to get her to move forward. Then I released the butt bar and encouraged her to come back.
She went forward. She stuck her head out the window. She kept her head out as if that was the exit.
I couldn't believe it. My bolter was suddenly flumoxed by where the exit was.
I went to the front of the trailer realizing that she was really actually freaked out even though she wasn't stomping or anything. It was like she couldn't think, was frozen, confused.
There she was, her head out the window, pushing against it as if she could get out through that tiny rectangle. As gentle as possible, but in a firm tone I said back. Nothing. I rubbed her face, tried to calm her down. Suddenly she pulled her head in, slamming it against the window and backed out - not in a full panic as she does, but quick.
She shook her head repeatedly as she stood just outside the trailer, moving her jaw in a weird sideways motion.
And I thought I just killed my horse. I killed the sweetest horse on the planet just because I opened the darn window...
She shook her head over and over, moved her jaw over and over. I moved her to the stall and she took a couple dizzy steps. She was definitely not happy with me as I put balm on her forehead. I felt terrible, knowing if I knew a little more I might have been able to prevent it.
Talk about one step forward and about 1/2 a mile back.
I'll be by in the morning to check on her. I told our trainer what happened and she assured me she'd survive this and that I didn't do anything wrong. I'm sure I could have done something better. But we agree on one thing.
We've got a whole lot of hauling to do.
PS: the saddle fits Bo! I was too traumatized to ride, but I did put it on him and take a quick turn in the arena...