TOABH: Costly

Olivia   February 24, 2015   2 Comments on TOABH: Costly

What has been your horse’s most expensive injury to date? Let’s exclude maintenance things, like hock injections and the magical monthly package of MSM. What single episode blew your savings or left you boiling ramen? If you want to get technical about it, time is money, too. 

Dijon’s tendon injury by far. I don’t really have a total for this as a lot of the visits were combo visits Examples: vet comes and does shots and examines Dijon or comes for dental sedations and examines Dijon. Dijon had to be drugged with Reserpine multiple times to keep him calm enough for stall rest. He was also given multiple shockwave therapy sessions and those cost $350 each plus a farm call. I think he’s had 10+ vet exams in the last 18 months since the injury. I’m sure I’ve spent more in vetting him just for this injury than I did in purchasing him.

The other problem with the tendon injury is that it has created a weak point that needs vet checks and medication when I would normally just take a wait and see approach. For example, his leg recently swelled. He was sound on it – as sound as he ever is – and wasn’t bothered by it so had it been another horse I would have just waited a week. Because it was his bad leg, I called the vet. He got some inflammatories and was fine in a week. I’m pretty sure he would have been fine in a week with or without the vet, but I worry about that leg so I always go the expensive vet route.

Neuro exam (not a weird lameness check)

And the time suck. My god, this injury has been an endless time suck. He had to have his legs iced and wrapped constantly. One time he had a bad reaction to the Reserpine and I found him the next day covered in blood and falling down. The blood turned out to be from a cut lip (from falling), but finding your horse in the morning with blood coming out of his mouth and smeared all over himself is not a relaxing sight. I had to make multiple trips to the barn to check on him for a few days.

 Then he went through multiple rehab/tack walking periods where I would put on a timer and a book on tape on my iPhone and just walk in the arena for 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 minutes. One week or five rides at each time. And then we’d make it to 60, have some sort of set-back, go back to stall rest and then start the WHOLE thing over again. I think I did this 3 times.

I’m not injured – let me gallop around to prove it

But, in the end, it’s worth it because I love this horse. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but I do. He’s definitely my favorite. Which probably seems odd as I write a lot more about Nilla. But that’s really because I do more with her. He’s partially retired and most of my interactions with him at any given time are either feeding him or vetting him. I am hoping to get him out again as soon as I have a free Saturday (his leaser rides him Sundays).

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