Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ploddin' with Lily

I've got to work a little harder on getting a good self portrait aboard Lily.

While talking to Bill yesterday at the end of a nice ride, I noticed our image in the back window of the Jimmy.

Lily wasn't in to posing, as is evidenced by her blah expression. Still, the setting made a fun photographic challenge.

I also have to remind myself to look at the lens before snapping too many pictures.

When there's gunky stuff on the lens, blurring out some of the photo, that's not good.

After a morning of completing several garden-related errands, I saddled up Lily and went for a nice afternoon ride.

This was after my farrier John Fuller had come over with his hoof tester.

Lily has been suffering a bit with some intermittent lameness.  I was beginning to get worried cuz I couldn't find any cause.

A few pinches along her hoof with the tester, and we discovered the culprit.

She has a tender spot at the top of her hoof in direct line with a slight crack running up the outside wall.

Early this spring she had a small opening in her hoof when John first shod her.

At the time he called it a "gravel." I'm learning more and more about the fun of wet years and horses' feet. I've learned that "gravels" and full-blown abscesses have been pretty common with horses this year.

Basically, the gravel is an infection that works its way up through the hoof and out the coronary band. This can take months. Occasionally as it progresses, the horse goes lame.

That's precisely what's been happening to Lily. Suddenly last week she came up lame again after limping a bit several weeks ago. 

Ironically, by the time John showed up yesterday,  the lameness was gone, but the sensitivity in that area where the infection may have reached the band was very evident.

I greatly appreciate the advice of my veterinarian Cherise (who's living in Houston for a while) and my longtime farrier John. They've both helped me through some real worries about my horse.

Yesterday Lily and I plodded down South Center Valley Road. I was planning to go over to my friend Roxane's on Forest Siding Road, but someone was doing a lot of target practicing, so we avoided that area.

Instead, we continued north, which takes us past Eva Whitehead's place.  Eva's brother makes decorative windmills, and she has two samples in her yard. 

Annie,  the lady across the road who's built a beautiful new horse farm, has windmills too. Eva told me her brother is constructing the windmills to sell, so I've told her to have him put me on the list, probably for spring.   

It will be fun to have a windmill here at the Lovestead, especially with Lovestead colors of cream and purple.

Yesterday's ride was lovely, to say the least.  We still haven't hit the height of fall, but the ride down South Center Valley Road is beautiful almost any day of any season.

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