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

May 2, 2011

The tye-up is finally starting to resolve

Three days of banamine, massage, and worry.  One of the worst weekends (though that sounds melodramatic, it is true) of my life.  Most of my happiness is drawn from my horse, doing our thing, and her well-being.  I don't know what I'm going to do about Phebes, but I am sure she is done.  No more distance work.  I do need to see if she can be healthy and sound for some less stressful type of discipline (trail riding, arena work), though with her history...I just don't know.  I love this horse, with all my heart I do.  It is like we got almost to the destination and dropped off the earth.  But Phebes needs a new job that allow her to be healthy and happy, and where we go from here....?


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your little mare E.G. Tie-ups are horrible to deal with. I used to groom Standardbreds, and my three fillies all tied up at one point or another. Very tough to deal with. Some of them get through it and go on with their careers, and some don't. Sometimes they just seem to outgrow it. The younger and more stressed fillies are the ones that are most prone. I hope your girl recovers soon. I feel very badly for you both.

  2. There's nothing quite like the feeling that drops into your gut when faced with a big change in your horse's life. I truly feel for you and hope there's a path ahead that makes sense for both of you.

  3. How about trail riding and obstacle challenges? I don't know what is like in your area, but they are pretty popular around here. It's all about trust and the relationship between you and your horse. ACTHA is growing in popularity as well.

  4. We at Haiku Farm are keeping you and Phebes in our very best thoughts right now. Take care!

  5. One side of her butt was nice and squishy this evening, the other side is softer, but not quite there yet. After two days of mortal misery I'm no closer to a decision than I was. I've just stopped throwing myself down on the bed and bawling like a kid. This is the closest I've come to feeling gutted in a few years. It made me feel how much I've loved what we do. Now we can't do it together. I don't really "know" if a shorter different discipline will work, or if her hotness can cause this to come on with even differnt situations. We were in fact 1.5 miles from home when this went down. Had warmed up at the walk for a mile, and picked up a canter on little rolling hill. I guess that is all classic for tye-up. I was at a ride last year where a horse tyed up walking to the vet in on a lead rope! The owner was beside himself and I can relate. Another thing that is interesting is she was tight as heck still last night, had a dose of electrolytes in her feed, and a dramatic change by morning.

    I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm in a terrible quandry. I've looked at some CTC's and ACTHA rides being held in Indiana this year which I've always had some interest in, but then I have to rehab her again first, and there are no guarantees that she still won't do this. I couldn't sell her to someone else knowing this without being honest, and I about die thinking of doing that. I see too many horses starving where they stand in dry lots. Having two horses isn't financially practical in the current economic climate (at least in my little world) either. The only thing I know for sure is endurance is done for her, but I just keep throwing up my hands (and wanting to jump off a cliff) when I think of doing some type of showing or an arena discipline (no offense to those who do, and yes I know there is a lot of skill involved with both). I could enjoy cutting, but in southeastern Indiana? Probably the trail obstacle challenges are the closet I'll come. Or I'll have to find another horse and start the hell over again :(

    I'm not the drinking type, but I bet I could belt one down about now. ~E.G.

  6. I've been thinking about you and Phoebes all weekend, EG. Glad to hear she's recovering, poor dear!

  7. hey, I've been following along, just never knew what to say. Still don't, but just wanted you to know I've been thinking of you and Phebes and what-next, and praying for you.

    Let me know if there's anything I can do.


  8. I think you would enjoy the ACTHA rides. You can take them at whatever pace you want - walking is fine. The ride is 6 miles with obstacles along the way. I am looking forward to trying a few events this summer. It looked like a lot of fun to me.

    Maybe take a year off and try something like this to take the stress off you and Phoebes. Have fun and then check back in a year. You might find that as she matures, she can handle things better.

    I don't know a lot about tying up, but I have seen Doc's muscles quiver when he has gotten tired (I usually just let him rest) or when he was nervous and there is a chill in the air. This sometimes happens just bringing him into the barn on a chilly windy day. But he has not had the long term muscle tightness to go with it that you mention.

    Is there any possibility she is getting too much of something? a supplement? I will check with the more knowledgeable folks at Dynamite to see if they have any other ideas. My gut says go back to basics on the diet except for maybe a probiotic and free choice minerals and cut out all grains, supplements, and different feeds.

  9. How about intro ride distances? Like 15 or so? Do you think she could manage that?

    We have a great trail riders association - longish rides without the endurance ride intensity. Perhaps...