Christmas came early for Derby on Monday.  His vet pronounced him healed and gave the green light for turnout.  It didn’t come a day too soon – though he was a total star while stuck on stall rest, he was getting bored and grumpy.  On Sunday,  when I went to put him back in his stall after grooming and handwalking, he said No, sticking his toes in and balking in the aisle.  I cajoled him in with some cookies, which worked.  But then he realized that he’d been suckered, and stood sulking, ignoring his hay.

So I was thrilled when we got the OK to put him back out. I slapped on his bell boots, and fed him a couple tabs of Ace to blunt his enthusiasm a bit.  It was muddy and slippery, and I wanted to keep the exuberance in check.

Ace takes about a half hour to kick in, so in the meantime, I thought I’d let Derby burn off some steam in the indoor arena.   I turned him loose and ….well, you can see for yourself.

He actually did trot and canter around, and while he threw a few bucks he didn’t hit the afterburners and cause me any heart palpitations.  I took his leftover breakfast hay outside, and had a discussion with his turnout buddy, Remy, about keeping a lid on things.  The two were the picture of equine reasonableness:


I’ve been grounded this week due to some lingering effects of food poisoning (awesome) after being out of the country last week, but am taking a lesson on Manny tonight, and am planning on getting on Derby on Saturday.  While I was away, he managed (while in his stall, wearning a sheet) to wound himself on his back – right where the saddle would go.  He had a bloody wound and a large swelling last week, according to my vet who saw it when she was there to do his teeth while I was away.  The swelling is gone and it’s healing, but was still very tender this week.  A few more days, though, and we should be FINALLY good to go!

Getting by

Stall rest for Derby continues, but so far he’s handling it well.  Christy tells me that he’s quiet during the day, and though he’s a bit grumpy now and then, for the most part, he’s pretty laid back.  We’ve started doing some hand walking, so I’m able to get him out of his stall for a few minutes at least.  I’m also doing as much as I can to provide him with entertainment and distraction in his stall, including using small-hole haynets to make his hay last a bit longer and equipping him with a couple different LikkIts.

Solitary confinement.

In the meantime, Ive been riding Tucker, who’s made a few appearances on this blog previously.  He’s a fancy little Quarter Horse with a lot of training.  I’m still feeling a bit out of whack on him still – he has an entirely different build and way of going than Derby.  We’re getting more into synch, and Christy tells me we look okay, even if I still feel out of balance and ineffective.    I’m trying to ride a few different horses while Derby is laid up, and get the most out of this time as I can.




It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that’s not for lack of news. On Monday of this week, Derby had tie-forward surgery to correct persistent displacement of his soft palate (DDSP) and his tendency to aspirate food into his airway.  It was big surgery, requiring general anesthesia, which freaked me out, and a short stay at the vet clinic afterward.



Scoping. No twitch needed when you have Xylazine on board!

Monday morning, I went over to the clinic for the pre-surgery scoping and ultrasound.  They didn’t find anything to stop them from going forward, so I kissed Derbs goodbye (on the butt since they immediately started clipping and scrubbing the incision site, under his jaw) and headed home.  I wrung my hands for a few hours, and then got the call with the news that I wanted to hear – that Derby was awake, recovered from the GA and back in his stall, munching hay.   I got to go visit that day, and while he was still a bit woozy, he looked great.

Derby in his stall at the clinic. You can see his shaved face and throatlatch.

He came back home yesterday afternoon.  We’ve had to remodel his stall, to keep him from lowering his head as much as possible.  He’s eating out of a raised tub, and we’re feeding hay in a net above the tub.  It’s working fairly well.  He also has a new mint-flavored Lick-it but he’s not shown too much interest in that yet.

He’s on stall rest for the next thirty days.  In mid-December, we’ll be able to get back to light work.  In the meantime, I’ve lined up a few other horses to ride, so I don’t get too rusty.