I am very Thankful that I have Gen in my life, especially after his little run last weekend. I was talking to the barn owner this week and it wasn’t just me that was scared we were going to loose him last Saturday. I am so thankful that even when he is a knucklehead my horse is well enough to still be okay at the end of the day. Sure, horses are expensive and time consuming, but the amount of pure joy that Gen brings in to my life is immeasurable. That picture was taken a few weeks ago. I am so thankful that Gen is alive, he is basically healthy, and that even at 22 he is still having a great time. What are you thankful for on this day?
Does anyone know of a good national horse charity? One where the money is going to rescue horses and not pay for big salaries? I am struggling finding one where 70% or more of the money donated goes to help horses. I can find that at the local level, not so much on a larger scale though…
So I know that that picture looks scary, but actually Gen is okay. That is just him, his body, dealing with running around yesterday. It is very easy to look at my horse most days and wonder why he is retired, but after days like yesterday it is very clear that he just isn’t a normal horse.
Gen got hurt back in 2007. He has been retired ever since. I did try and get on him one summer a few years ago, but I genuinely am worried about riding him. We have vet clearance to walk under tack, but that is it. Knowing that Gen is a hot horse, I choose to keep my feet on the ground. He was not supposed to live this long, but I am really happy that he has.
He has already far exceeded my expectations. When he first got hurt I thought that his life would be getting turned out with boots on in a little 20 x 20 field. He has now gone out for years without boots and he has a three quarter of an acre pasture all to himself.
The thing is, he really is still fragile. He is not a normal horse. His leg is never going to completely heal. It is my job to try and keep him quiet in order to keep him alive. Yesterday I tried something new…and well I do not regret doing it it did remind me that he is always going to be my special boy. The entire time that he was running the barn owner and I were both worried about him. The good news is that we did not need to be. He didn’t hurt himself.
The picture above, from this morning, is actually normal for Gen after a really strenuous day. Because his leg is not normal, when ever he over exerts his tendon, he has what is called micro tearing. That means that his tendon is so weak that if we ultrasound it right now we would probably see dozens of mini tears all in it. The good thing is that Gennyral can heal himself from these many tears. So as long as he stays quiet for the next few weeks his leg will look as good as new, well, as good as Gen leg can be anyway.
I am no longer the crazy owner I used to be. these days, I am just happy to have Gen around. I will not wrap him, I will not keep him in. He can heal himself. He has done in the past. I know he is hurting today, but not just from his leg. He is very sore. All over. I thought about giving him a little Bute, but decided that it is okay for him to be reminded that he is no spring chicken. He will be a good boy. He likes the life that he leads, and he isn’t about to put that in jeopardy. I just wish that he had been a good boy yesterday.
Oh Gennyral…why must you make everything we do an adventure?!?!
So we tried Gen out in the new fields today. It didn’t go very well. He was not aggressive with the horses in the next pasture, but he also was not acting like the 22-year-old retired Horse with a leg injury. He ran around the field like a maniac. He wouldn’t let anyone catch him, and he was not even coming in for the potential of dinner. Thankfully, he is old and fat so he could only run for about 20 minutes before he could no longer breathe.
After I caught him it took a good hour to walk him with a cooler on before he started to get back down to normal temperature. Poor guy is now exhausted. It is his own fault though. he could have lived a nice cushy life in that field. All well. At least we tried.
Gen moved in to his current farm of residence 6 years ago. Gen was just a year away from when his injury happened when he moved in. He was still very much recovering at the time of arrival. I knew he would be going out alone and that field was just the right size without getting too spacious and nice and close to the barn. That field is where Gen has spent most of his outside time for the past 6 years, barring a few short stops in the medical field of course. Gen is my boo boo head after all!
Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day for my Gen. We have a bunch of changes going on at the farm and one of them is changing where the horses go out. We are going to try and move Gen’s turnout space across driveway. He would get some new turnout neighbors and some new grass. We are basically going to try and flip flop him with the owners mare. If things work Gen would get a larger place to go out (a little scary for me still) and potentially a field with a run-in shed.
Fingers crossed that Gen is a good boy about the switch. I actually think he will be. The barn owner is worried that his potential new fence mates may not be thrilled with the change. I am more worried he will stress his leg by running and carrying on in a bigger turnout area. I do not appreciate it when Gen goes to stretch his legs these days…but he is a Thoroughbred so I know running will happen. Hopefully all will go well tomorrow and it will be a nice and easy transition to a new place for winter turnout.
Wish us luck!