Winston Churchill said "If you are going through hell... keep going." Great advice, as you don't want to stop in the middle of hell. So move we have, slowly. And now finally hope is restored. There is light at the end of the tunnel and this time it is possibly not a train coming at me (and Little Love) .
The boots with gel pads arrived with Becky this afternoon from England (after a bit of drama; she called me last night telling me the mail didn't bring them, but eventually they were found at the doorman's residence - the address was partly wrong, how they found their way to the right place is still a mystery - or a miracle). I can't tell you how hopeful I felt when I looked at them. Would this work?
Getting Little Love to come out of her stall to the concrete was slow, but the banana worked again. Once she was on flat and solid ground, it was easier to fit the boots on. The right one fits perfectly. The left foot has really been giving her grief and is sort of an odd shape, so I wasn't surprised to see that the boot sat on it a bit crooked. It also seems like the boot is a bit big for her on that foot. But, luckily I was able to secure it, nevertheless. Tomorrow we'll work on fitting it better.
The first step was very short and very tentative. The second one was hesitant, but by the third one, Little Love became more confident. And low and behold, after about five steps, she was actually walking. She was WALKING!! Not hobbling or gimping or falling over, but walking. I opened the gate towards the parking lot and she needed no more encouragement; she marched towards the arena and away from the barn like she had been waiting to do that for the past two week.
"Oh my god Becky, you have to see this!" I hollered at Becky who was inside the barn. She came running out to see me laughing and crying as my horse walked WALKED WALKED around the cement parking lot. Little Love started neighing and whinnying, she was so loud, it was like she was singing her joy out to Col who responded from the barn. We made a few laps around the parking lot and down to the arena, and it was literally like a switch inside Little Love had gone off; she was her alert and hyper self! Wish I had the whole ordeal on video, it was amazing. I could not stop smiling, this was like Christmas ten times over, just to see her so ALIVE. Wow. I have my horse back.
So yes, the boots work. Unfortunately the neoprene guards that came with them are way too small, but I talked to my friend Kristiina in Finland and she has an extra pair that fits her horse (who also has thick bones like Little Love); she is sending them over first thing on Monday. Until then we'll just have to make do without and hope the boots don't rub too bad. I plan to start handwalking tomorrow, but with short walks so Lilo doesn't get rubs from the boots. Also, knowing what she has gone through, I don't want to rock the very, very sensitive hoof balance/pain management scenario any more than I have to.
Here is a picture of us in the parking lot, I think we both look positively relieved. Little Love couldn't stop looking at the horizon, as if she was just dreaming about going out for walks over the fields and forests. No kidding. It was starting to get a little old hanging out in the pasture and in the barn!