Hmmmmmmm. Well, I knew this day was coming. After a long, exhausting battle to keep Gogo’s grazing muzzle on during the day, she has finally progressed from simply removing it to actually completely shredding it. It is currently in several pieces in the front seat of my car while I attempt to figure out a restoration. Seeing as I am about as handy as a cream cheese bagel, I don’t see any magical repairs happening anytime soon.
Gogo had been wearing her grazing muzzle for half days up until about a week ago. I then was cruel enough to switch her to full-day muzzle wearing, and she clearly wanted nothing to do with that idea. Day one went fine, except for the fact that Gogo spent most of her day listlessly toodling back and forth across her field, refusing to eat (although she did drink). Day two she rubbed her two brains cells together VERY hard, and figured out how to get the muzzle off. I put the muzzle on at 7:30am, and it was still on at noon. By 5pm, it was off and missing in the field. I located it, dusted it (and her flymask, removed and torn) off, and hung it up for the night, placing it back on in the next morning. By noon, it was off again. Still undeterred, I gave it another shot, wondering whether or not it would once again be off by midday, or if she would just give up and figure it out. When I came back at lunchtime, it was off, but this time the snap was attached to the diamond mesh, the breakaway was broken, the ground around the fence was torn up, and the entirety of the sewn on parts of the straps on the muzzle were torn off. Apparently, she got it stuck on the mesh, struggled, blasted through the entire thing, and escaped to freedom. At least she didn’t hurt herself, but she could have.
Well. Even if it had a breakaway, the muzzle obviously didn’t quite do what it was supposed to when it got caught on something. I don’t really have any interest in letting Gogo break her neck while getting hung on something in the name of diet and weight loss, so I think I need a new plan. The only problem is…. What else can I do?
There is nothing else I can take away from her diet outside of pasture – she isn’t eating grain or hay, just supplements and pasture. I can’t create a track system either. I would LOVE to give it a try, but again, the property Gogo is on is my landlord’s hayfield, all of which is hayed. Setting up a track system would take away from precious hay… although I supposed you could argue that it actually SAVES hay in the middle of the field…. No matter, the argument isn’t going to fly. I can’t muzzle her, seeing as she is potentially going to hurt herself in the struggle to remove it every day. I could potentially stall her for portions of the day, but whenever she ceases movement, she stocks up pretty dramatically, not to mention the fact that I think her future soundness is going to bank on perpetual movement. Honestly, if I can give it to her in any way, shape or form, I fully intend on keeping her out 24/7 for the remainder of her days. I could potentially continue her handwalks down the road, but again, I unfortunately don’t think this is a particularly safe option (freeroaming territorial dogpacks in all directions). I could, pending vet approval, start to sit on her again regularly….. but should I give it six more months in turnout, like I had originally planned? Is it going to be too risky to sit on her, or do I potentially risk further damage to that leg with all the extra heavy fat she is carrying around?
Dilemmas, dilemmas. I’m not really sure what I should do. I don’t really have anywhere safe to ride out here anyway – the pasture isn’t exactly a nice level surface, and the hay is up to her knees. That being said, she was cantering lithely back and forth up the fenceline today without an issue while looking for Bobo, so maybe terrain is less than an issue than I figure. But will she behave herself if I sit on her? If I have to drug her, there is no way I can ride on anything but level footing. It’s just not a chance I can take.
We’re still planning on having an ultrasound done in early June, but this will have to wait until the EHV scare settles down. We’ve had a case here in Weatherford, and all the local equine hospitals are completely closed down for the time being. I’m obviously not in a hurry, but I am looking forward to it. I’m not sure I’ll follow vet’s orders if he tells me to start riding right now, which he likely will. I’m not really sure what to do.
The very special Ridgeway weekend
1 day ago