Well, there are some personal reasons. They are, in this order:
- I was laid off from my job as a marketing specialist and administrator at an industrial manufacturer on June 30th
- I got a new job at a gourmet cookie company on July 1st- SCORE
- I learned quickly that the job sucked, the bosses were unbearable and they decided I would be better suited to "customer service," i.e. data entry, instead of marketing
- I took a freelance job writing articles for eHow just to have some creativity in my life, so I've been spending my evenings writing articles for small sums of money and the thrill of it
- And then, on September 17th, they laid my off by calling me in the conference room at 5:25 pm (the workday ends at 5:30) and telling me that I'm doing a great job but they're eliminating my position and I have 5 minutes to clear out my desk, turn in my key and say goodbye
- And THEN, I was like, "Awww... well, I still have a pony"
But hey, I'm alive. I've been filling the void in my life the past two weeks by going on interviews, scouring the internet and all of the contacts I have for jobs, working at the barn to pay off my board (my barn manger is a saint and has let me work off all of my board by cleaning stalls 6 days a week, 2 hours a day- which works out to $10 an hour and was really, really nice of her), teaching more riding lessons and stepping up my freelance writing and necklace making activities for the income. I've also increased my baking activities, since I love making things that require copious amounts of sugar, butter and chocolate, hence the cheesecake cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, frosted brown sugar cookies, brownies and orange slice cookies I've made in the past two weeks. YUM.
Shorty is doing alright. I'm sorry to say that we had to go back in shoes after his laminitis returned after pulling his shoes off. I thought at first that he had developed an abscess in his front right, which is not unheard of for a horse that wore shoes for a while and then suddenly went barefoot. I waited a day to see if a soft spot would make itself known somewhere on the sole so I could have the vet come out to drill it, but no spot made itself apparent. While poking around, I noticed sensitivity in the toe, which is a big red flag for laminitis. Given his past history, I called the vet out right away for radiographs.
I was really, really lucky. He had 1 degree of rotation, which should go back to normal as his foot grows out. The radiographs showed Shorty has a very thin sole, like 1 mm thin (a horse should have 3-5 mm of sole). For the time being, he is wearing shoes in front, but he's still barefoot behind. He also wears a thick leather pad and sole pack until his sole grows out. Given how thin his soles were, I say I'm lucky because he could have easily had more rotation, causing his coffin bone to puncture the sole. When that happens, it looks like this and is very painful:
He's been sound, knock on wood, with front shoes, but that feels very false to me in a way. I feel like I covered up the problem and didn't address it, but my first priority in his care is to stabilize the coffin bone to prevent penetration. I will have radiographs done soon to check is progress. Once his sole has grown out, which could take six months or more, I'd like to try barefoot again. I think the springtime would be a good time to try. Ohio ground tends to become solid and unforgiving during the winter months, and it probably isn't the best choice for a sensitive horse to get his bearings without shoes. So, my goals for this fall and winter include improving our ground manners, honing in my basics of equine massage (Shorty is my test pony and he loves it), growing out Shorty's feet and taking small catch rides around the farm when Shorty looks up to the challenge. Oh, and getting a job.