Friday, February 20, 2009

How I Spent $400 in Two Hours

Since I spent much of last night in tears, figuring that Wally was doomed due to his current bout of sore-footedness, it seemed only fitting that I'd awake bleary-eyed, just in time to greet my vet, Jennifer. She brought along her assistant, Mark. He positioned Wally's leg while I held Wally... and the camera. After all, I wanted to document how quickly several hundred dollars can disappear when you're in love with a horse.

Once the x-rays were taken and Wally was sent back to his stall (minus his front shoes), Jennifer went to the back of her truck and tallied up my bill. Hmmm... Why is she smiling?

Within 10 minutes of Jennifer driving away, my farrier Ed arrived. That coincided with a fortuitous phone call from Jennifer, who had already viewed and inspected the x-rays. (More on that later). She gave Ed some instructions, which resulted in Wally being shod with special "no vibration" pads and thick aluminum shoes. Then silicone was injected underneath the pads for even more shock absorbing capabilities. The duct tape was a mere bonus to keep the silicone in place until it dried. Ain't it pretty? It should be, for what I paid. *sigh*

Here Ed writes up my bill. Notice how intent he appears. Hey, don't forget to add the silicone to the bill! That's an extra few bucks. Maybe Wally can get a credit account at Home Depot and buy his own silicone before the next visit from Ed. And that would be in six weeks. Why? Because I have a horse who grows his feet at a remarkable rate, and it's mostly all toe growth. Not a good thing... Unless you're independently wealthy. And I am not.
So much for the bad news. My checking account and my wallet will survive. Now for the good news: the x-rays Jennifer took were fine! I began to be optimistic when he demonstrated hardly any response to the hoof testers. Usually a horse with raging navicular issues will flinch to the application of the hoof testers. Wally did not. The films revealed no signs of ringbone or sidebone. There wasn't any founder; his coffin bone hadn't rotated (which I feared, given the crummy conformation of his feet), so those shots were clean, too. As for the navicular area? I asked Jennifer over the phone, "Are you seeing holes and frilly edges?" She replied, "I am not looking at Swiss cheese. I don't see anything remarkable at all. However," she added, "Wally has very thin soles. That's why he's ouchy on hard ground or over any kind of rocks or pebbles. So no more of that. And have Ed put on those pads with the silicone we talked about." As you now know, that's precisely what I did. Oh. And while Ed was paring out Wally's right front foot-- the sore one-- he discovered a significant bruise on the sole. Voila! Mystery solved! I'd put on a party dress and do The Happy Dance, but right now I'm too poor to buy a party dress.
I'm sure that Wally will still be a little sore for a while, because it'll take some time for his soles to adjust and for that bruise to heal. But now I know he's not facing a certain downhill slide to an early demise. I feel so much better, even if it did cost me a little over $400. Do you know how many bales of hay that is? I do. But when it comes to realizing that my horse will be with me for a long time yet to come, that my friends, is priceless.
Thanks for all of your good wishes on Wally! If you have any other comments or thoughts, please click on "comments" below or email me at:


Anonymous said...

I'm glad Wally's feeling better!My Warmblood gelding has horrid feet,i piad over 34,00 dollares for him,and no one noticed it.We show in the high leval of JR.Equation so it makes life even more that challenging.

Anonymous said...

Cindy's sister in: AHEM. Although I completely understand the "neurotic horse mom" syndrome (which should probably be an official psychiatric diagnosis), I must say in all gloatiness -- is that even a word?? -- I TOLD YOU SO!!

But I am very, very happy that Sir Walter's tender tootsies have been radiographically diagnosed and that he and his much-loved humom will be out on the trails together again soon.

In the meantime, Mr. Topper Jones, the most splendiferous of off-track Thoroughbreds, lobs a giant equine raspberry at his good pal Wally and says, "I always KNEW you were a wimp! Sore heels my fabulous red hinny! Why, when I was racing...."

Topper's devoted mom and Cindy's sister cuts him off, lest he start into his "when **I** was a racehorse, we had to slog through 10 feet of snow just to GET to the track" routine. Trust me, you really don't want to get him going.

But cheers to Wally and to money well spent. As I tell everyone whose jaws drop when I talk about vet bills: "Hey, it's only money. I'll make more."

My four-footed family members? They cannot be replaced.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad Wally's feeling better and that his feet will be alright. He can look forwad to many more fun rides with his devoted Mom Cindy. And I just want to say how lucky Wally is to have a Mom that cares enough about him to make sure he is in the best of health. I'm sure he appreciates it so much.

Anonymous said...

Isnt it amazing how fast money goes when horses are in the picture? Why, I recently got Karisma some more hoof and joint supplements after she ran out, some NickerMakers, a new slow twist dee ring for shows (hey, it was on sale!), a bag of Bermuda blend pellets, and threw in some special black-horse shampoo, fly spray, clearance winter riding coat (65% off $100), and an on-sale bottle of anti-chewing spray. At the check out, I was astounded that the total came out to be $225.85! Turns out when you buy two different supplements at $55 each, the money adds up quite quickly. I swear those companies raise the prices every time I go to get more... I could swear those were $40 a tub before.

Jessica said...

Ah *sigh*. There's nothing quite like the relief that washes over you (even though you're completely B.R.O.K.E. now) when you find out that it's not "your worst fear." Yay for you and Wally!!!

I'm so glad that it's "just" a bruise!! Hope Wally enjoys those "Manolos!" (at least that's what I called my mare's shoes that cost a fortune ever five weeks hehe - not quite sure the gender bridge works though...hehe)

Cindy Hale said...

Ha! Besides the comments here (including the fabulous teasing from my sister), I also received some nice emails and some comments "in person" from other horse lovers who read this blog in my community. Lordy, I cannot go anywhere without someone saying, "Oh, I know who you are! How's Wally?" It is kind of scary how we work so hard-- especially in this economy-- to earn every single dollar we can scrimp together, and yet we hand it over so readily when it comes to our horses.