Tuesday, October 14, 2008

update on the little man

The pony's acupuncture treatments are now down to every other week. During the last one, she went further into the "trouble" spots, and he fussed a little, but mostly he seems to understand that once she gets things set up, good stuff happens.

The vet and I were sitting at the picnic table, and I was holding the lead line loosely. Apache Moon was about 3 feet away, eyes closed, quite literally sleeping with an expression of bliss on his face. Suddenly he opened his eyes, took a few steps toward me, and put his eyes right up to mine. He kept inching closer and closer. After gazing at me for a few moments, he dropped his head gently into my lap and began to lick my hands. Then he went back to sleep, with his head in my lap.

It was the most wonderful "thank you" I think I've ever seen from a horse.

Meanwhile my daughter continues to wrap his hocks in soothing, moist/warm towels. The vet has asked us to tack the pony up, completely, wrap his hocks with the moist heat, and then randomly ride or simply untack. She wants to break the cycle where he tenses up when expecting the ride, so he can realize that things are getting better, and can experience some time under saddle with warm hocks.

He is still being ridden very lightly, but thoroughly warmed up before doing any trotting.

My daughter has developed a way of tying the towels around his hocks and he stands there like he's getting a very special treatment. His entire demeanor is different when he has the towels on.

Otherwise, he is slimming down (he has come to accept the grazing muzzle and doesn't seem to detest it) and his lush winter coat is coming in.

We will be giving him Bute the night before and morning of hoof trimming, as well as the towel treatment before and after, so he knows, again, that we are attending to the sore spot.

He completed his herbs and will be getting his re-check later this week.

I'm very pleased with how things are going. He's getting a softer eye, and I think that means we're on the right track.


the7msn said...

Right track, indeed. That is one very lucky pony to have you and his daughter in his life. His thank you gesture was positively poetic.

Grey Horse Matters said...

The ponies 'thank you' makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it? He seems such a sweetheart and so grateful to be treated my you,your daughter and everyone else around him. I'm glad to hear he is improving with his treatments. The hot towels sound positively soothing.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a truly beautiful moment of connection between animal and human. I bet your heart skipped a beat. I know that mine would have :)

Kudos to you and your daughter for acknowledging his pain and for addressing it in such a thoughtful way.


billie said...

It's been a real lesson to accompany him through this process of discovery.

I posted a link a few weeks back to the blog post here for his birthday (23 April 08), where I put up a number of photos of things he has done with my daughter in the past two years. When I looked again at the photos, I was reminded of how much joy and effort and experience he's given my daughter.

He surely has earned every bit of care he's getting right now, and will continue to get in the years to come.

I hope the days of riding and perhaps driving are many more, but as I said to someone recently, even if he could never be ridden or driven again, he has a very special job as a therapy pony. With all the symbols he carries on his painted coat, he is a Jungian dream pony!