Okay, so this is where everything I learned in the Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning program least year is put to the test.
Feeling my feelings. Acknowledging. Accepting. Embracing. Releasing. Moving on.
The following pictorial is a summary of Bear’s visit with the vet on Wednesday …
Bear plays the role of Curious George as Dr. Maggie and her able assistant, Sarah, set up the x-ray equipment outside his stall.
Since I manage foreign stress better with a camera in hand, in this instance my iPhone, I take pictures.
Sarah holds the x-ray plate while Dr. Maggie captures one of several images.
Bear was a good boy throughout the exercise.
Eureka! Bones of the fetlock joint are in good shape. 🙂
Sadly … ultra unsound. 😦
Check the other fetlock for comparison.
Bear remains stoic.
The end result …
Bear has injured the lateral suspensory ligament of his right hind leg.
This is a serious injury.
To prevent further damage (especially since it’s so icy outside right now) he is to be confined to his stall for 120 days to recover.
As well, he will be bandaged 24/7 with a change every day.
He’ll also be hand walked once or twice a day to give him really light exercise and help allay the boredom.
Bear is in good spirits and seems to understand that we are trying to help him. He’s a smart horse and amuses himself with the nibble net in which his hay is now fed.
I, on the other hand, am dealing with uncomfortable feelings right now. Even though I know what’s going on (and better to know), and welcome the experience of nurturing him back to health I am sad. Sad that Bear suffers; sad that our training has been stalled. As well, as this is Bear’s first major injury in the almost nine years since I welcomed him into my life, seeing him confined in this way, even though it’s for his own good, is difficult for me.
How did this happen? Who knows! He’s a horse. It could have happened anywhere. But I expect that learning to move correctly has put stress on an area of his body (the right hind) that is his natural weakness. With the time off and proper care he will quite likely come back feeling stronger and better than ever, but there are no guarantees. I’ve received a lot of encouragement from other horse owners who have been in this boat, and this helps me to feel somewhat better. Still, the uncertainty, I guess, is what unsettles me the most, especially since my life in general feels unsettled right now.
And yet, I remain optimistic.
Today I get a refresher course in bandaging, and Dr. Maggie is coming back to give Bear his first of three shockwave treatments which will be spread out during his recovery time.
Over the next few days I’ll begin to develop a routine and a rhythm that will help things settle again. A time of new growth; new opportunity; new learning. It’s a matter of taking one step at a time and having faith in the journey.
Perhaps you’re wondering about the expense?
Between the x-rays, ultrasounds, shockwave treatments et al, Bear’s recovery is an expensive undertaking. Fortunately, I have medical coverage from his insurer so most of it will be covered.
So, here we are, Bear and I, hobbling down another path together that will deepen even more the relationship we already share.
Every cloud has a silver lining and I can see the gossamer starting to appear already.
We’re stalled … but we’re fine.
Thanks for stopping by and remember to nurture what you love …
©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015