Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tentative Steps

Those are some serious snarls.
Last Monday I saw my surgeon for a post-surgery check-up.   He was pleased with the strength and flexibility of leg and knee that are housing his handiwork: a reconstructed ACL.  It was obvious that I have been working hard at my rehab.

Always flattering, Dr. Rouse told me, “You put the 16-year-olds to shame.”

Hot damn! 
That's better.
Armed with that compliment, I took my first tentative steps back into the barn and to my horses. 

Please note that I’m still in negotiations with my husband about doing actual barn work, and about riding.  My surgeon gave me some specific instructions on what to do and what not to do IF I rode, but my husband is still pushing back hard on the idea that I should be getting on a horse. 

"Get off my neck!"                 "No!"
That aside, this week, the vet and I visited Stormkite, who is in training in Greene, and who was showing some stiffness after about 6 weeks of regular work.  Fortunately, it looks like this issue is due mostly to his being so out of shape, and I’m expecting that he should be fine as he becomes more fit.

While I didn’t work him for the vet (I asked the trainer to do that), I did handle him for the follow-up work, which included a Coggins blood draw and rabies shot, and dental work to remove the sharp points from his teeth.

Honestly, managing a pushy horse felt a little scary, as I’m still conscious of the state of my new ACL, which is in a very weak point in the regeneration time line.  But all went well, and the last time I saw Stormkite, he was still rather stoned from the dental anesthesia.

That looks like a very chilly mattress.
Back at home yesterday, the southern winds brought us a warm day after some biting cold, and I went up to the barn for a visit with our three mares, Hudson, Starlight and DeCato.  Hudson, my old friend of 10 years, remained somewhat aloof in my presence, but by contrast, Starlight seemed to be delighted to see me and wanted to be near me, to secure all of my attention for herself. 

I had to work at DeCato’s mane, because it held several serious dreadlocky snarls, and Starlight kept slipping her face over DeCato’s neck, trying in her sweet, fuzzy-muzzled way to get that brush over to HER neck.
The ewes greet my return with their usual suspicion.

I have to admit, I need to give my ligament two months post surgery before I start to get serious around the horses, but getting my fingers in their thick, warm coats again sure feels good!

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