I am thrilled to report that Dog Vet didn't come out, it was his young, Australian assistant (named Bruce - yes really!) I was told he would come some time after 10am. He finally turned up at 3.45! I didn't care by then as at least I'd got the horses in. He was a very nice chap, and said straight away that he wasn't a horse expert, and that if it was more complicated than he'd expected, he would refer him, which was music to my ears.
He had a good look all round the pony, watched him walk, felt all four feet thoroughly, and declared him as having chronic low level laminitis, and after we discussed it, I am inclined to agree. He said that we must restrict his haylage intake, as he does stand there and gorge, and put him on a strict diet, and be very careful next spring when the grass comes through, all of which I know.
It is such a relief to have someone declare what's wrong with him, and how we should proceed. Missis rang on her way home, and she is relieved too. We're going to discuss tomorrow the best way forward, whether to keep him in when Pongo puts a bale out (they are huge) or to pen an area off and monitor how much we give him.
To be honest, I think we shouldn't bother putting a big bale out, we should put it into haynets and hay up in the field properly. They trample so much of what's out there, that it's just wasted, which seems silly. I don't fancy the extra work, and Missis won't like the idea of tying haynets to the fence (not my favourite thing either) but I think it would be worth it. I'll put it to her tomorrow and see what she says.
This is because, as I've kept Fudge in for the past two days, I have given him one haynet, not massive, and it's taken him all day to eat it, and even left some and had a sleep and so on, but when he goes in the field, he buries his head in the haylage and eats non-stop. Even when the other horses come down to the gate, ready to come in, he is still up there, stuffing himself. Plus if we put haynets out, there would be no need for Pongo to drive into the field, churning up the ground with the tractor. And I wouldn't need him to do it, I would just use the bale in the barn.
Pongo put a bale in the field on Monday, and it was gone by Tuesday afternoon. He put a bale in the barn for haynets. I have done two big haynets per horse per night, and there is still enough left to do the nets for Friday. Nobody says these horses are deprived of haylage at night, but there is still so much left to use up. And in the morning, most of the horses have something left in the bottom of their haynets, so I know they're getting the right amount. I will pray, and hope I can persuade Missis that it's the way forward.
So all in all I am thoroughly relieved. I just felt like crying on Tuesday, seeing him in such obvious pain, and I have never been in the position before, of insisting that someone gets a vet out. But if anything had happened to him, it would have been on my conscience for ever. If he loses the weight over the winter, and he should, as his cresty neck has reduced quite significantly already, then he will be fine and will be rideable again. Bless God.
The other good thing is that the water pressure on the hose is fantastic now that Pongo has installed the new pump. You can definitely wash the horse's legs off with it now. Before it used to fluctuate, so it took ages to do them, as it used to reduce to a trickle. Now you can practically shotblast their legs! Barnaby has mud cracks on his heels, and it's impossible to treat them if you can't get the mud off. Last night I washed him down and this morning his legs were so clean they were glowing in the dark. The sore places were blatantly obvious, so I slapped the Camrosa on. I have to say we have been using this for a month, and it hasn't made much difference, even though it's supposed to be a wonder cream. We were having more success with the Aveeno, which is a treatment for kids that have eczema, but it was working, so I think we'll go back to that.
We had our feed delivered again today, which meant although I was fit to drop, I lugged 8 sacks of feed from the driveway into the barn. That was the last straw really. I've been frustrated this week because the weather has been beautiful every day, but I haven't had the strength to ride. To be honest, doing six stables every day for four days has been enough to contend with. When I come in for lunch and sit down, I can hardly get up again afterwards. Never mind, I've done it now. It should be a while before I have to do it again, and soon it will be Christmas, ten whole days of only having to do Max's stable. Be prepared boy, you are going to be ridden a LOT!
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