Welcome to the herd!

Mouthguards suck.
Mouthguards suck.
It's a pretty big pasture!
It’s a pretty big pasture!
Quiet time in the pasture.
Self proclaimed herd leader Tush on the left, guarding Emilie, Gäskir and little grey Blomme on the right.

Emilie got to be out with the herd for an hour today, introducing her to most of the other horses at the new barn. She immediately formed a group with her barn neighbour, Icelandic horse Gäskir, which was then joined by little grey Blomme who seems to love everyone as long as they have four legs. Pinto herd leader Tush allowed her into his herd but kept her separate from the other horses for now.

Fjord horse Loke took one look at Emilie and went for a nap — and he’s supposed to be the grumpy one!

Emilie will only be doing 1-2 hour pasture visits this week so that we can be sure that she doesn’t eat enough through the mouthguard to cause her laminitis to flare up again. But from the looks of it, she’ll fit in just fine.

Bigger is better!

His name is Bigger. That's why.
His name is Bigger. That’s why.

Emilie has been safely moved to a barn that’s just 2.7 km from our back door. The trip went mostly smoothly; the vet gave me a bit of painkillers for Emilie so that her laminitis and hip wouldn’t act up, and she was fine. Unfortunately, however, she slipped on one hind leg during unloading, and the lead rope tore up the driver’s hand. I feel rather bad about that. It wasn’t anyone’s fault but I hate seeing people getting injured.

Emilie is settling in fine though she is quite unhappy that we won’t let her into pasture with the others yet. Laminitis baby needs her new mouthguard before she gets to run free again! Apart from that she’s settled in fine. Her new box allows her to pop her head out and say hello to people who walk by, and my hyper-socialized horse is abusing the heck out of that. Piiiiity me, the poor locked up priiiiisoner …

Oh, and big, brown boys are still her favourite.

Horse Whispers

Emilie came down with laminitis on all four legs two days ago. In spite of the pain and the stress from the treatment (no food, no pasture, no nothing), she is able to talk to me. This morning she did not want her treatment.

Every morning this week I give her an injection in the neck, for pain relief and lowering her blood pressure. The vet showed me how to do it Saturday. I may have turned a little green around the nose Sunday, but I got it done without Emilie catching on to my discomfort (I’m terrified of needles). This morning, when I approached with the needle, Emilie moved away.

I walked after her and pinched her neck skin lightly as one does, to distract her from the incoming needle. She flattened her ears and glared at me. At this point I remembered how sore muscles get when nurses keep jabbing in the same place day after day. So I pinched her 5 cms further to the right — and voila! She stood statue still and relaxed.

Tomorrow I’m going to jab her on the other side of the neck while I quietly give thanks for how good horses are at communicating if you’ll just listen to them. No stress, no panic, no anxiety. Just letting me know that this spot is sore. Please give the injection a little to the side of yesterday’s spot.

I’m ever impressed with how much information horses can convey with how little voice. I’m no horse whisperer, but my horse certainly can whisper me a thing or two.

I’m not dead yet

It’s been a while, and what a while; one of those whiles where you struggle to keep swimming and at some point you look back and realize that six months went by without you really noticing. But I’m not dead yet, and as long as there’s life there’s hope.

I did not get to do much with Emilie in this long while. She’s still struggling with back pains, and I am still struggling with fibromyalgia. Together we exercise from the ground – she needs to practise lifting her hind quarters over cavalettis and using her hips correctly, and I need to walk, any kind of walk. It’s harder than it sounds like, and I’m still not sure how I feel about my new walker-rollator. On one hand it means I can leave the house – on the other hand it kind of feels like giving up on ever walking unaided again.

My health has been down the crapper this autumn. I’ve been through the proverbial wringer, with hospital visits and with testing out new medication options. At this time it seems low-dose Naltrexone works best for me. It does not reduce my pain, but it does give me some energy and ability to cope in spite of the pain. The Combar that I was put on in order to solve my not sleeping due to pain issues has to go – it has weight gain and muscle pain as a side effect, and I’ve gained 10 kilos in three months in spite of moving more about than I used to.

In spite of the last two paragraphs, though, this is not a venting session or pity rant. The structure of my life is holding together. The framework is solid. I woke up this morning with the strangest sensation of relief; the proverbial manure hit the fan a couple of times, but the windmill is still standing. If there’s something to be grateful in life, it’s the ability to cope with crisis and still be there afterwards. I’ll never take that for granted.

Ah well. Onwards, let life speak for itself in pictures.

The husband snapped this one in the yard. We have an astounding amount of wildlife here.
The husband snapped this one in the yard. We have an astounding amount of wildlife here.
Can't have a lawn without a hedgehog.
Can’t have a lawn without a hedgehog.
Or newts.
Or newts.
In fact, we seem to be collecting newts. The husband has been building little sleeping spots for winter for them, too.
In fact, we seem to be collecting newts. The husband has been building little sleeping spots for winter for them, too.
This little fellow visited us in the sun room; fortunately the husband got to him before the cats.
This little fellow visited us in the sun room; fortunately the husband got to him before the cats.
I'm not keen on pictures of myself but the husband wanted to document my attempts to take up watercolours again. If I ever acquire a scanner I'll show you my amateurish compositions.
I’m not keen on pictures of myself but the husband wanted to document my attempts to take up watercolours again. If I ever acquire a scanner I’ll show you my amateurish compositions.
The murderkittenz love nothing as much as their 'wild water' - drinking from the tap is just that much better than the water bowl.
The murderkittenz love nothing as much as their ‘wild water’ – drinking from the tap is just that much better than the water bowl.
Yes. Miv fell asleep with his face in the food bowl. Again. He does this pretty often, even when there is no food up there.
Yes. Miv fell asleep with his face in the food bowl. Again. He does this pretty often, even when there is no food up there.
This naked lady or autumn crocus popped up in our lawn in October just as everything else was turning pale and wet.
This naked lady or autumn crocus popped up in our lawn in October just as everything else was turning pale and wet.
Who knows where the road is winding? It's beautiful there, at least.
Who knows where the road is winding? It’s beautiful there, at least.

What comes next? Only time will tell. Life’s being a bit of a female canine at the moment but it tends to go on anyhow. A mountain of trouble may seem like a road bump six months later. I’m not dead yet.