Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 34 From worse to better :-)

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.
Little Love sniffed the boots thoroughly when I was adjusting them to her feet.  I told her the boots were a little strange, but that they would help her.  Once she had them on, she stood still like a statue, afraid to even blink.  I had the halter on her and tried to coax her to move, but she had literally grown roots.  She gave me this look that seemed to say "you seriously think I can walk with these things on?"  I ran to get a second banana :-)

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! 
Ps. Also the swelling on her left front had gone down last night, so another piece of good news!


  1. So good the boots made a difference! You won't be able to leave them on all the time, but whenever she can be comfortable, that's good.

  2. It's wonderful to hear that Lilo is doing better after all you have been through! She definitely looks like a happy horse in your photo :-)

    How cute that she thought she couldn't move with the boots on. When Griffin first wore his boots - I remember that he kept picking his foot up and setting it down again - like he was trying to figure out what strange apparatus his human "mom" put on him now....I could see those little wheels of thought just spinning in his head.

    I look forward to hearing about her improvements as she feels better!

    Carol & Griffin

  3. I just wanted to tell you that I read every one of your posts and that I suffer and hope along with you.
    I also read your other blog and it makes me think a lot. Some things are easy for me to follow and understand, as I have never had my horse shod or isolated or kept in a stall... but the other things your write about, like the violence we carelessly use in our daily dealings with our horses, or your quetioning of riding - those things are hard for me, as I don't have a clear idea of what it means for me... But keep on writing, the thinking is good for me.

  4. Such good news. What a beauty she is. Wow!

  5. YIPPEE!!! Good call getting the Cavallo boots, they are much easier to fit (even though they seem a bit floppy). My gelding ended up wearing his Cavallo boots 24/7 for a week because of thrush issues and he never got a rub, even without the guards, so you might get lucky in that regard.

    So so happy for you and Little Love right now!

  6. Such a relief to hear they arrived & work!!!

    We've got the exact same boots, Olga has had them on 24/7 when needed, I use Easycare guards with them and add extra filling on top of hooves when needed to make them fit tighter.