Contact information:

Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

May 11, 2009

The Vet was out and we got it done.

Phebes wasn't having any of it. She smelled the vet...and that was it, she was not having that woman touch her. At one point she had the needle in the vein, and Phebes just shot off like a rocket, she wasn't able to get the sedation injected, but finally got ahold of the syringe long enough to yank it back out. On to plan B.

Try distracting Phebes with carrots, alfalfa hay. Not happening.

Plan C: Hated to risk it but we were out of options, so I remembered that she was tied up when Mike treated her at the ride. I said let's try it, if it doesn't work out...then it just doesn't. She did pull back a little, but I tied her really short so she couldn't flip over or get a lot backward momentum. It was a little dicey but finally she got it in and she was sedated.

On to checking her mouth which has never been looked at for obvious reasons in her five years. She had a few little edges that needed smoothed out. Not enough she had to have some more. Then the teeth were addressed.

The vet says " what type of bit do you use?" I say " I ride bitless." She says, "you surely don't ride this horse bitless?" Yes, I surely do. Where upon I go into the whole explanation of a bit as a communication tool, not a braking device. She had to concur that I was correct. She did inform me that Phebes has no wolf teeth! So if at any point I want to try a snaffle, then the option will be open.

Next were all of her shots, for West Nile Virus, Encephelitis, Tetanus, and also she squirted something up the nose for Strangles. She had her blood drawn. She didn't draw for the selenium. She had contacted an endurance vet somewhere and he told her that it would not give back any useful information. That all it gives you is "today" not what is happening through training, and competition. You would have to have it checked, and rechecked, and rechecked to get any idea. (I can't afford sedation plus the $130 blood draw each month). His advice is that I should give her the feed, and add a daily selenium supplement to her ration if she isn't getting the full amount of feed on the bag which she never is. So for now that is where we are at. She is checking the CK (enzymes) in her blood to make sure they are somewhere within the range of normal, and she is doing a basic blood panel.

As for feed, she recommended that we switch to a low starch feed, which we were in the process of anyway (bought some yesterday for her), give her a daily supplement so she has her selenium and E vitamins. She said to not give her time off prior to a ride, and on non-working days to cut her ration. Then see how things go. Soon as I get the green light she goes back into work which I will bump up gradually over the next four weeks until we are pretty much back on track. But first I have to get that phone call.

Phebes did have her workout prior to the vet coming. I took her pulse right after we finished and it was 47 bpm, so she is not stressed by the walk,trot work outs at all. If anything she is getting a little "lazy". ~E.G.


  1. Here's hoping your CK comes back normal!

  2. Glad you got her teeth looked at. I just prefer a bit because you can fine tune your riding so much more. It makes the lines of communication clearer, when used properly of course!

    Michelle Detmer

  3. I started using a hackamore on some of my conditioning rides. I feel that riding in the hackamore has made me a better rider - I ask with my seat and legs first, I now ride with a totally loose rein etc. BUT, I feel I have more control with the bit and she "gets" what I'm trying to do faster. Maybe with more time she will get as responsive in the hackamore as she is in a bit, but for now, for all serious work I'm working in a bit. It's still good for both of us to work in the hackamore sometimes though!

  4. be careful about doing so many vaccinations at once - it's hard on their system, especially if you are also sedating and doing teeth. (or worming) I try to spread everything out. Plus if you do have a reaction that way you'll know exactly what it was from.