Sunday, January 16, 2011

Oh What a Night! (part 5)

Dear Readers,

In honor of the one year anniversary if our "unscheduled overnight on the PCT" I will be re posting the story one segment each day for the next week. If you read about our adventure last year...please feel free to skip it. If you have NOT heard our story might want to take notes...cause we never thought it could happen to us either ;)

I left the story off when we saw the 1st Carin. We were soon scouting the valley for them. Some were easy to spot, others we had to struggle to find. Slowly but surely the Caren's kept showing up leading us up another rock hill until in the distance I could see another barbed wire fence. As we got closer..I began to get excited because I could see a green gate in the middle of it!!! Bronco was not sure I was right...that this time we had REALLY found the right trail...but I knew this was it. Neither of took any photo's after the 1st cairn as we were to tired and just wanted out of there. The trail down to desert floor was pretty well marked and in fairly good shape. But considering what we had been riding, it was a piece of cake. Within 1/2 hour we had made down to our intended trail from yesterday. was going to be another 2 1/2 to 3 hours to get to the staging area depending on Jesse's feet. You see by now he had lost his easy boot and shoe somewhere in all the climbing. The Bossman had given all 3 of the horses some bute that morning so Jesse was not in pain...but he was being very careful over rocks. We came to a trail head and could have gone either way to get to the staging area but choose to ride the one that would be best for Jesse's feet. Unfortunately all the water hole we passed were dry...which meant it would be 2 more hours before we hit water. The horses just pushed on doing what we asked them to do. That ride to the water seemed to take forever...we didn't talk too much all of us just focusing on getting back. Once we had cell service calls were made to let everyone know when to expect us back to the stables.Finally...we reach the water...Bronco is back on Jesse as sometimes Little Lady gets antsy in the canyon because there are so many hikers. We got to the water and let the horses only have a short sip. Jesse wanted more but we could not let him have his fill without risking the chance of him tying up! 10 minutes later we reached a second water hole and again only let the horses have a short sip. We made it to the sure was a sight for sore eyes. We disconnected our saddle bags, took off bridles and started loading up. Jesse first, Lady, then Slick. All of a sudden Jesse began to pull back and do but bucks. I jumped up to look inside the trailer and realized he was in trauma. I yelled for the Bossman to get the other horses unloaded. As we took Jesse out of the trailer I knew he was going to go down and asked the Bossman to help me get his saddle off. We barely had time to get the saddle off when Jesse went down to a full roll twice. I urged him back up but he immediately went back down for 2 more rolls. The Bossman yelled for me to just walk him slowly and to try and keep him up. I called "The Doc" on his cell phone but remembered he was out of town. So I called Spanky and asked him to call the vet office for me. Spanky told us to give Jesse some ace. The Bossman got the ace ready and we gave it to Jesse. In a few minutes Jesse was not in as much trauma however he went down a total of 6 times before the ace kicked in. We gave Jesse a few more minutes and then load back up for the 10minute drive to the stables. When we got there Spanky had me give Jesse 7 sips of water and then we took him to the tie rail. 15 minutes later Spanky had me give Jesse 2 gallons of water with electrolytes. Another, 15 minutes after that. Jesse had not gone down since we arrived at the stables and seemed to be doing much better. As we took him to his stall though, he went down again. Spanky called the vet office...we were in luck they would be there in 1/2 hour. Before the vet got there Jesse went down a total of 12 times!!! Now also during this time the Bossman found the "Shoesales man" to come and look at Jesse feet. The "Shoesales man pulled Jesse's other front shoe so that it could be worn down a bit to macth his other foot. Both the Bossman and the Shoesales man were quite concerned about his feet because Jesse has such tender feet anyway.

The vet arrives and she begins her exam of him. Gut sounds are good so we hope that colic will not follow Jesse's tying- up.
What is tying up?
Tying up (muscle tension/spasm) involves chronic tension in the horse's muscles due to overwork. When the muscles are active, they produce lactate as part of their normal metabolism. Too much lactate causes lactic acidosis, a lowering of the pH in the muscles and the body in general. This impacts the efficiency of metabolism, giving rise to fatigue. The excess lactate prevents the muscles from relaxing properly following contraction. As a result, large muscle groups tend to seize up, remaining in a state of contraction. In mild tying up, the horse’s muscles are extremely sore and stiff. In full blown tying up, the horse is unable to move.
The areas typically affected by tying up include the neck, back, shoulders, zones of previous trauma and areas where other muscles have attempted to compensate for those already affected.
Prolonged muscle fatigue can, in time, affect the skeletal, circulatory and
respiratory systems.
Is my horse likely to tie up?
Tying up is more common in young Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds that are either high strung or not fit. Fit, well-trained and well-bred horses are better able to deal with higher levels of lactate in their systems. However, if a horse develops a level of lactate significantly higher than his body has learned to cope with, he will be more likely to tie up.

What are the symptoms of tying up?
The following symptoms may indicate that your horse is tying up:
Obvious discomfort and irritability
Abnormally short strides
Profuse sweating
Muscle stiffness, contraction
Difficulty moving
Elevated pulse and laboured breathing
Brown coloured urine resulting from the kidneys filtering myoglobin (a muscle protein) from the blood. Myoglobin is an indication of severe muscle damage.
Inability to sleep

What should I do if my horse ties up?
If your horse appears to be suffering from tying up, you should call your veterinarian immediately. Since tying up can be very painful, and your horse may be panicky, ask what you can do to provide comfort until the veterinarian arrives.
Never move a horse that has tied up. Moving your horse even a few steps may cause the condition to worsen. Keep the horse on his feet and protect him from becoming chilled by using a blanket.
Encourage your horse to drink, as fluids will help flush the kidneys of waste.

Tying-up treatment & prevention for horses
Much of the treatment for tying up focuses on prevention. Warm up and cool down your horse properly with at least 15 minutes of walking. Don't exercise the horse to a point where he becomes stressed. Provide turnout as frequently as possible.
Some horse owners/trainers have found that a diet that is reduced in carbohydrates (or total elimination of carbohydrates) helps to reduce tying up.
Yet another method that many horsemen have found useful is making sure that the horse's electrolytes (potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium) are kept at optimal levels through good nutrition.

The vets diagnosis was dehydration that lead to the tying up. Jesse would need to be given fluids through an IV four the next 4 hours and then the vet would come back out and check his levels and if need Jesse would gt more fluids. At 1100pm I meet the vet back at the stables ( I had to go home and feed and medicate both cats since they had been alone for the whole time too!) They always have kibble and water...but both need am and pm meds!!! Jesse's levels are all great and she takes him off the I-V. He also can eat his dinner now and he is sooooo happy to do that! Kidney levels show Jesse a bit high from the tie-up but she will retake his blood in 12 hours!

The next day at 4pm I met the vet again for her to check Jesse. All signs of dehydration were gone...kidney levels were good, although the ty-up enzymes were still evident...they would just clear up on their own. Jesse was released for very light movement for w few days then he could be moved up as movement allowed.

However this was not taking his lost shoe into account and THAT over 2 weeks later is still an issue!!! Jesse is now being hand walked by the Bossman everyday 2x around the stable grounds. Next up...ponying 1/2 hour until he seems to no longer be gimpy. This could take Jesse...1 month to recover from his lost shoe!!!
I have purposely not posted any pictures for this post until now!Jesse is burping...sorta, because as a precaution the vet tubed him with oil/water to prevent colic! Oops...another burp!!! See the bungee cord coming from his neck to the 2 big I-V bags hanging above??? The I-V cord is braided into Jesse's mane.
The actual shunt was "stitched" into Jesse's neck...see the black wire thread???
Jesse's hooves right after the Shoesales man pulled the left one. See how short the right one is???
Jesse really likes the Vet's assistant! See the Bossman in the background??? He has been at every shoeing...every vet appt. since he started caring for Jesse over 5 years ago!!!
He really loves his beautiful "substitute" vet, Jesse thinks she's pretty in pink! ( Last night at 11:00 pm he nickered at her when she first walked up to his stall for his recheck!)
The Bossman has been so concerned about Jesse since our "unscheduled overnight mountain stay" that he would not even let me in there!!! Also...he does not know this, but several of his "Boyfriends" have told me how upset he has been about Jesse and has been so devoted to Jesse's care during his recovery!

All blood test back to normal...all gut sounds normal! Jesse is released from vet care...just need to ease in back into workouts!!! However his owey toes... tell a different tale!

Your Desert Rose!!


  1. What a tale. I'm so glad you all came through it and that Jesse is okay. Nice of him to wait until you got back to the trailer to be distressed. It would have been awful had he done that out in the middle of nowhere.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story.

  2. Hopefully Jesse's toes get healthy soon. Poor baby. He has been through a lot. HUGS!

  3. So happy that Jesse came out okay. That had to be so scary!! I would freak out!
    Hope Jesse's owie toes heal up quick!

  4. Wow girl. I just finished reading all your posts about your adventure. I'm so glad everyone is ok, esp Jesse. You guys sure went through a lot, but everyone "pony'd" up, didn't they? *wink* Hugs to you and Jesse... hope his feet improve with a lil time. :)

  5. Poor Jesse!!

    You should try the easywalker shoes on Jesse. I know they did a huge difference for Indigo and our other horses too. He sounds like an owwie horse that could benefit from them. They are only another 10$ a pair more than metal shoes and wear far better than metal believe it or not. We normally do not get one re-set out of metal shoes in the summer. By the time we get a re-set (8-10 weeks depending) we can bend a metal shoe in half with our hands. These plastic shoes lasted through two 9 week shoeings and still had yellow left on them!

  6. Wow! That was quite an adventure! So glad Jesse is doing better. Hope his feet heal up soon. Is your cousin ever going to go trail riding with you again? Haha!

  7. So glad that Jessie is ok. I think that you have a treasured friend called the "BOSSMAN"It is evident that you two have a great friendship and care alot about each other.

  8. Give Jesse hugs for me...I still feel bad everytime I think about how he carried me home before letting himself give in to the pain he must've been in. I'll always be greatful to him.

  9. Poor guy. What a good sport though. Thanks for the pictures, that could be me in the gray scrubs! The thing you called a "shunt" that actually went into Jesse's vein is actually a catheter, in this case an IV catheter. I think its really cool the differences between putting an IV catheter in a cat or dog and putting one in a horse. For dogs and cats we can just tape them in place! Hopefully his feet will be healed in time for our Feb. ride, otherwise he may have to stay home. :( Our horses got quite a workout yesterday, keep yours eyes peeled for pics.

  10. It is so nice to hear Jesse is doing so well. Horses give so much. Congradulations on the fact that you three turned what could have been a really awlfully bad experience into a positve (and funny) adventure and became even better friends. Keep up the attitude.

  11. Poor sweet Jesse. A horse with true heart.
    His poor pastern looks so swollen in that photo, too. I hope that's not been an serious issue with his healing. Do you think his feet were a little long before your ride? I suppose having longer feet probably made a huge difference to the foot that lost the shoe, because he could slough off some of that hoof without more serious consequences.
    Wow. What an ordeal you all went through. I cannot even imagine.

    I hope you all are healed up for your aching muscles now, too. Hugs and carrots of Jesse.



We wish you Happy Trails
Jesse and his Desert Rose!