There were four factors that made Bailey’s procedure and recovery a success. First, the toughness of my mare Bailey. Second, Dr. Al Romero, a compassionate veterinarian who is an expert in lameness. Third, a very determined and patient owner. The fourth factor is probably the biggest shock of all…Cheyenne, the new mare that I bought.
June 28, 2014. The farrier has just left my barn after trimming Bailey’s hooves. She is still limping around. Dr. Romero and I are pretty much out of options. He is thinking it could be scar tissue that is causing her pain again in that area, but we would need to start x-rays and lameness examine all over. He is suggesting trying to get her to move more, but to do that I would have to be very forceful with her and that seems cruel at this point. She just doesn’t want to move much. I have decided to just let her enjoy the summer. I go later in the morning to look at a horse that needs to be sold and relocated ASAP. I am aware of the horse’s personality issues. I really didn’t think I would buy her right then, but sure enough, about a half hour later I am bringing Cheyenne home.
June 29, 2014. It didn’t take long for Bailey to claim her turf to Cheyenne as the alpha horse. Bailey was now moving a lot with the addition of Cheyenne in the pasture, even though she was still limping.
July 2014. Bailey’s mind was distracted of her pain with the presence of Cheyenne. Anytime I took Cheyenne out of the pasture to trail ride, Bailey would run the fence line. This movement is just what the doctor ordered, only she was doing it herself!
August 2014-March 2015. Bailey is enjoying life. She is limping less and less, and moving more and more. There is hope again that the fusion has been successful. We decide to wait through the winter and re evaluate her condition.
March 18, 2015. Dr. Al Romero comes for the horses vaccinations and to discuss a riding rehabilitation plan for Bailey as she is walking great. He advises 5 minutes a day for a week, and increase 5 minutes every week starting in the spring.
I always hoped I would ride Bailey again. It was a dream come true.
April 2015. The snow has finally melted and I begin Bailey’s rehabilitation program. I stick very strictly to the guideline set by Dr. Romero. Sorry that the video shows me without a helmet, no excuse, but it was my first time on Bailey in 19 months and I was pretty excited and forgot when we shot this video. I am lucky to have the help of an experienced riding neighbor and as Bailey’s time increases in her rehabilitation program we bring both horses out together for trail rides in the woods.
June 2015 – current. I continue to ride Bailey regularly in a conservative matter. I am still very cautious that the ground conditions be perfect for her. She does very well on my trails that are relatively soft ground with no rocks. She enjoys trails rides and has participated in rides an hour long at a walk, except when she wants to rush through the mud! She is very forward moving on the trails, and thoroughly enjoys being out with Cheyenne and friends. I am enjoying the ability to use both horses and allow others to enjoy riding my horses with me. I rarely ask her to trot with a rider on her. We are still taking baby steps in her progress, but there have been a few times she has trotted, cantered and even gone over a cross rail for fun- her choice! Bailey still gets 1 gram bute 5 days a week, 2 days off.