Thursday, March 3, 2016

We Have Work to Do

So it's now been 2 weeks since Yankee's ordeal began, and it's starting to feel a little bit normal again. Only a little bit.

Forever grateful for the outpouring of concern and well-wishes my big guy has received. He's my OG, and i cannot imagine my life without him in it!

Leaving the hospital
I've been adjusting to the fact that I will soon go from riding one horse exclusively, and boarding (I've gotten spoiled),and will now go to caring for two special case OTTBs and continue riding Bacardi. Let's face it, he's special too, haha! ALL THE OTTBS!

As soon as I got used to the idea of Yankee coming home to our farm, and all that entails, I was sent full body photos of my dearest thoroughbred by his caretaker. 

I staggered. I gasped. I almost cried. 

He looks atrocious at best. 

That topline, I cried
Not only did he drop a significant amount of weight, his coat and hair look scraggly and he has lost all muscle tone. We have a lot of work to do. 

Luckily, his caretaker is actually a vet student who's outside her clinicals and almost a real vet, and very well equipped with brain knowledge on how to assuage his poor body condition. She's been an absolute Saint, tearing him like her own and sending me daily updates and pics. Also, his surgeon conveniently boards at he same facility, so she's able to monitor him as well. Handy.

For now, he's secluded to stall rest and minimal hand walking to graze. He's loving that option, and I've been told he's eating his hay like a champ. All digestive systems seem normal, but he still can't have grain. He's getting about a handful a day right now. 

In addition, he's being treated heavily with gastroguard (bye the rest of my money) so hopefully this repairs whatever ulcers he had. I believe the vet said we need to utilize this treatment for 3 more weeks.

I can't help but feel responsible for all of this. Never in my life have one of my creatures ever look like a neglect case. Of course, he underwent major surgery, but I was not prepared for the end result and having to start from negative square two in our weight gain journey (again). Luckily, Yankee hasn't been the problem child with weight gain, so I am hoping as soon as he's cleared to eat grain, we can fatten him right up! 

I'm used to this Yankee
Post op plans are as follows, directly from his surgeon;

Mar 1-20: stall rest,  light hand walking and grazing
Mar 21-April 20: Small turnout, and extended handwalking (this is when he can potentially travel to Ohio as well)
April 21-May 20: Turnout in pasture allowed
May 21-June 20: Light flatwork can be introduced, increasing steadily
After June 20th if healed and strong, can resume jumping

So this is promising. I've done extensive research, and most horses return to normal work afterwards. I am incredibly nervous about reoccurring episodes of colic and the financial burden of that possibility. He sadly no longer qualifies for insurance, and he is showing a steady pattern of colic becoming a happenstance. Nervous horse mom is nervous.

Overall though, I am eternally grateful to all the horsey gods for keeping him with me. I am excited to smush his face again, as I have missed him! 

Lets get back to this!


  1. ALL THE OTTBs! Forever and ever.
    Sending lots of healing vibes to you and Yanks, I'm sure he'll look like his old self in no time :)

  2. We have a few at our facility who are surgery survivors who came back and rocked the jumper world for years! I'm sure Yankee will be the same. :)

  3. I hope his recovery is swift and uncomplicated. You'll have him looking great in no time :)

  4. omg it never ceases to amaze me how easily the weight just melts off these ottbs... poor Yanks :( sounds like you have a great plan for him and some excellent caretakers. hopefully he'll be back to thriving asap!

  5. Look at that sweet face. I'm sure you will get him back to looking like a round sexy studly champion. I have no doubts about that.

  6. So glad he's going to be okay. Poor little man!! I'm sure he will get back to normal with a good mum like you to look after him.

  7. Sounds like you have a great plan! And yes...I just paid a vet bill for gastroguard....owch.

  8. That breaks my heart to see him look like that. I never knew it could happen so fast after something like major surgery. :( Rocky still doesn't look completely normal after his ordeal, but he's almost there. I'm so glad Yankee's prognosis looks so good. Did the vet say anything about how to prevent this from happening again since they aren't sure what caused it??? Was he dehydrated? Does he need to drink more? Does he need salt added to his feed? I don't know anything about that kind of colic. I always thought impaction was from not enough water... :\ I'm thinking about you guys. I hope he has a speedy recovery and that he never colics again and that the financial aspect improves (wish we could win the lottery without actually playing... if I won I would help you out because it would kill me if something happened to Yankee). I hope you feel better soon.

    1. They really have no idea TBH, he just seems to have a propensity for colic. Which is nerve wracking. We are hoping with the Gastroguard and switching up wormers it will keep him form colicking in the future!!

      Thank you for the love!