Friday, March 23, 2012

Hobalong Equestrienne! And I "fixed" Pippi myself!

Miranda saw the Othopedic Surgeon today, and they took a new Xray. So far SOOOO GOOD!! Looks like the fractures are healing(new bone growing), and she is now allowed to walk on her cast. (seems counter intuitive, but he swears it will heal faster this way, and he did have a white doctors smock on and a name tag, so we will go with it.)  So she is "hobalonging" around.

Next appointment in two weeks, when they anticipate swapping the cast for a below the knee version. Doc estimated the healing to take between two to six months, depending on her body chemistry. So we are hoping for the shortest time, but prepared for longer. Donny has agreed to compete with Pippi in our local shows to keep her mind and body in competition mode. I think it will be good for her to experience another rider, and to stay in working horse mode.

Speaking of Pippi.
After the accident she had a large bruise on her side, likely caused by the Stirrup and Miranda's ankle. She was stiff, and sore, but after a few days seemed just fine. On Wednesday this week, I decided to lunge her on the lunge line. She was super well behaved, and responded really well to my cues, swapping gaits on command. We started counter clockwise, and she was fine until I asked her to Canter. I had to ask twice, raising my voice, and although she did it, she was tossing her head quite a bit. I attributed this to the flies and bugs (can you believe they are so abundant so early?). She dropped to a trot and walk when asked, and halted really well. I was pleased, and was telling Donna about how when lunging one should stand quietly as possible to have the horse work and not the other way around. This was explained to me by a horse trainer I highly respect, and she stated that the horse needs to know that you are the dominant one working it, not the other way around.
I then switched direction (all full of myself and my fantastic lunging abilities), and all was fine until I asked for the canter. Once again I had to be firm, and ask twice before she would change gait. And then she started pulling, and I stupidly held on to the lunge line. What an IDIOT I am! Who does that? SO DUMB!!! I finally let go, but only after I had a nice burn cut into my hand across the palm. Oh yeah, I did not have gloves either. What a moron.
Pippi ran over to the gate, and stood there looking at me. She did not try to get away, just stood there and allowed me to come get her. I was annoyed with her, and by golly we were going to get this done. Kevin threw me some gloves, and I lunged her again. When we got to the canter, she pulled off again, and ran to the fence.
Well, this time the thick skulled human, got the message; something was wrong with her. I asked her when I approached her "are you hurt Pippi?" and she said "I swear you are one slow witted Human! Seriously! I give up! If you don't get any better, I am going to take you to the auction and get a better human. One I can train." I swear she said that. Not in so many words, but..............

I walked her out to look at her better. Her spine was swayed, and her rear had lost all its rounded glory. Instead there were two points, and her tail bone was elevated and the area around it seemed swollen. Donna agreed and stated that she had looked at her earlier and wondered if she was getting fat, because she looked different somehow. But no, not fat, just out of alignment. I left her alone, and decided to call the Chiropractor to get her adjusted.
Well, I decided to try to give her a massage myself first. I learned some techniques from a Buddhist Monk years ago (long story) and although that was for humans, I figured I would give it a try. I have after all watched our Chiro work on her, and read books on Equine massage, and watched videos, and massaged Pippi a lot, plus I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express once. I am practically an expert.
So last night after vigorously grooming her, and removing enormous amounts of hair, Donna and I took her into an enclosure and I got to work. I stretched her legs, and worked my way down her neck and spine. Pippi would tell me I had hit a sore spot by vibrating when I knocked on her muscles, and I would stop and rub her some. I bent her neck gently to both sides, and made her put her head between her front legs. She was very willing to be pampered, and was completely cooperative. I stretched out her hind legs, and felt a slight pop in the right one. When I released that leg she shook it a little, and then sighed. I then rubbed her buttocks, which she objected a little to, but seemed to appreciate after the initial pain. Her hips were also sore it seemed, as well as her loin and her flanks. It was clear that she was just sore all over the rear really. Her neck had some knots and tender areas, but after some massage she relaxed and started yawning and stretching with my movements of her.

Afterwards I trotted her out, and Donna was amazed at how much smoother she moved. It was not apparent until it was, if you know what I mean. I let her back out in the field, and she trotted a bit and then started grazing. Her rear was once again rounded, and her back was back to normal. She was also stepping wide with her front legs to graze, and once again it struck me too late that she had been grazing awkwardly before. Bending her knees a little rather than spreading the legs apart.
Oh how I wish she could speak. (Probably just about as much as she wishes I could hear.) But I am thrilled that I was able to help her. It felt great to be able to alleviate her pain and discomfort myself, and in my own emotionally dependent way I'd like to think it meant something to her that I was the one that fixed her. I sure meant a lot to me and Donna. We were proud of us.


  1. Go Mom! Now if you could just fix Miranda :)

    I don't have the patience for massage, but sure wish I did. Our BO does Masterson's Method - which is a massage technique. I think there is a demo at Equine Affair on it.

  2. That's really neat that you were able to straighten her out. I've been reading along with this entire story. It seems so... I don't know... unnecessary? for things like this to happen.

  3. Kelly- I will have to check that out at EA. Thanks

    NM- I think "unnecessary" is exactly the word for accidents such as this. With horses things sure can change in a split second, I suppose we all just have to be aware of that at all times. Both my girls are healing, and for that I am so grateful.

  4. I love this post, and how you listened to what Pippi needed to tell you. Brilliant. I am a huge fan of masssage. The Sainted Mare gets a brief one from me after every ride, and then a real one from her masseuse as often as I can afford it. I can tell it workds, as she's always a lot stiffer when I've been gone on business and she's been ridden, but not stretched/massaged afterwards.

  5. Amy-Pippi loves a good massage. During show season she smells more like an old man than a horse, due to the liniment scent. I get a kick out of how she actually leans into my hand and rubs herself against it.
    Massage released toxins and floods the brain with feel good chemicals like seratonin. I am actually going to cash in on my Yule present spa gift certificate tomorrow. Aaaaaahhh


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