"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Lily's Leg, A Novel: Chapter 3, In Which Lily Stops Eating

Because she wants to be a supermodel.
(No, not really.)

She was thin on arrival from the hospital, but I swear she dropped another 100 lbs in a 48 hour period. Insane.

I woke up early and called HC Summers, the store in Jefferson MD that I mentioned in my previous post, to see if they had Elastikon. As it turns, out they did.

So I drove all of 15 minutes to get there and realized upon entering that not only did they have Elastikon, they also had ALL OF THE OTHER BANDAGE MATERIALS I HAD NEEDED THE PREVIOUS DAY! *face-palm* UGH. Now I know I can really, truly get them all in one place! Hindsight is 20/20.

I bought a couple of rolls of the 4" Elastikon (Amazon only had the 2" by the case with Prime shipping) and moseyed my way back down to the barn.

I went home to pick up Charles so I could at least see him while doing stuff at the barn. We drove out to the barn, where I picked Lily's stall, changed her bandage, noted that there was more swelling than the previous day but not a lot, and realized also that she had finished her morning grain but hadn't really eaten much else. She looked so freaking skinny on this day. I love the boarders at this barn and they all mean well, but they all stopped by one by one to tell me what had worked for their horses with weight gain. They have no way of knowing that I have tried everything, that this was because the mare was stressed out about being alone, that she has such an insanely fast metabolism she will drop weight within hours if she is not eating constantly. I explained this to them and still appreciated all of the advice anyway, especially because everyone was so kind in their way of giving it. I have said it before and I will say it again: I love Marylanders.

Still, I freaked over the reluctance to eat. I freaked out epically. I called my BO and left her a voicemail, asking if there was any way I could start bringing Gracie in at night to keep Lily company when the other horses were turned out. The stall on her other side was unoccupied, so it would be perfect for G-mare.

I gave Lily another dose of UlcerGard and decided I was discontinuing her bute, since not eating her grain well is her #1 sign of ulcers and bute can exacerbate them. This, of course, would lead to other issues.

Charles took Lily out to hand graze while I picked her stall and noted that she peed twice while touching noses over the fence with the geldings in the neighboring field. Oh great. Let's compound the issues: Mareface gets extra attached to other horses when in heat, and her appetite also decreases when she's in season. Great. Just great.

Silver lining: At least we now know the prostaglandin shots worked after the whole stallion saga?

After I was done freaking out, we put Lily back in her stall and went out to Southern States so I could buy her something to help with ulcers. My options: Legends Gastrotech and Triple Crown Alfa-Lox forage. Both were around the same price: $30. I chose the forage because forage is always better for horses.

And of course Lily would end up turning her nose up at it. -_-

Yay, let's continue wasting money!

Upon our return, BO was at the barn and had just finished setting up the other stall next to Lily for Gracie. She is giving me a reduced price on stall board by allowing me to do a sort of self-care: I'm doing the stall mucking and Lily's afternoon meal + her meds, while also providing my own grain; the barn provides hay and shavings in unlimited quantities and feeds Lily in the mornings for me.

BO was going to let me do the same with Gracie. The single thing the barn staff had to do was turn her out in the morning; I would clean her stall, feed her, and bring her in in the afternoons. Basically, at the moment the barn is my second job.

Charles took Gracie for a spin, since he hadn't ridden in almost 2 weeks, while I set up haynets for her in the stall and her grain meal. She got a bath upon their return and was brought into her suite, but even with the food she wasn't exactly thrilled about it.

Lily, however, turned around and started eating. And eating. And eating.

She didn't take her head out of the hay feeder during our remaining time in the barn.

Gracie was a little agitated initially so I ended up putting on her halter and tying her up inside the stall. Miss Manners knows now that when she is tied she is to be a model citizen (only took a year...) and she instantly relaxed. I brought out the brushes and gave her a thorough grooming. It was like pressing a "Reset" button. She was completely calm after that.

Now that both mares were happy, we felt comfortable going home.


  1. Atlesst you have another horse you could bring in as a buddy. Sounds like your Bo is amazing! So nice that they gave you the reduced board option.

    1. BO has been really, truly awesome through all of this! And yeah, I said the same thing: I guess there are perks to having two? ;)

  2. Snapchat has revolutionized communication and blog post photos lol.

  3. oh Lily.... fingers crossed that having Gracie in will help her stay calm and EAT!! also your BO is the best

  4. Glad she is eating though! That's good news

  5. I'm really happy the BO is being so understanding and reasonable.

  6. What a tough situation! I know what it's like to have to do barn chores in addition to a real job and I remember how hard it was. Hopefully this will be over soon!:)

  7. Ugh, does it ever end?! Hopefully now you've gotten things figured out and Lily will keep eating so she doesn't compound her problems :-(

  8. Gracie's expression in the stall is priceless. Glad you were able to figure out how to get both girls settled into their current arrangements though. I'm sure this entire thing has not been easy for everyone...hang in there <3