Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘health’ Category

A Tale of Two Tums

We are stuffing Rodney with ranitidine and Maalox-equivalents (cheaper). We tried stopping. Not so much luck. He’s back on, at least for the duration of the cold snap. [What’s Up]

We are stuffing me with Zantac and Maalox (I prefer the taste). Zantac has joined hot showers and Tylenol in my arsenal of a mood lifters. [Pre-Show: A Change in Attitude]

Horse and rider on the same meds. Perhaps it is something in the air.
If I may whine, for a moment. I held a grumpfest last weekend. Exactly a year ago, I stayed home from a show that offered seven, that’s 7!, classes in order to be ready for Rodney’s first dressage lesson [Lesson]. Not only did that not pan out [Dubious Future], the aborted attempt appears to have taken my saddle seat along with it [I Do It All, But Not as Well As Milton Does]. I know, I know, I’m lucky and my life is wonderful. I’m hitting myself with the gratitude stick [A Look Inside My Head]. Frustration is still frustration.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Milton’s Medical Update

My life for the next two weeks, give or take.


Not much to report, which is excellent news.

Last Friday, Milton went in to have a large, fist-sized melanoma cut off the inside of his upper right hind leg. Equine melanomas are not the dire diagnosis that they are in humans. It’s a bump. It got cut off. It will come back. On veterinary advice, we waited as long as possible. When the leg around the bump swelled, the time had come to address the issue [God Laughs, Ups & Downs].

In my understanding, the big deal was the anesthesiology. We would have had the bump cut off years ago if it could have been done under local. Therefore, as soon as Milton stood back up Friday morning, the excitement was over.

We are left waiting for the wound on his leg to heal. As soon as the mass was cut off, the skin sproinged apart. Nine stitches were used on a few small blood vessels and to close the hole down as much as possible. The most likely worst case scenario is that the skin sutures give/come out and we have to wait for a larger hole to heal. The medical people involved are not worried.

I will continue to put out a daily update Tweet, on sidebar —>. They may get boring. Boring is good.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

God Laughs

Okay, who told Milton?

What happens when you begin to consider the eventual possibility of maybe one day showing your horse [Schedule]? He takes a month off.

Remember when I said I can’t seem to manage things that come easily to others [Laugh or Cry]? Here we are again. Greg works Milton for 6 months; everything goes great. I have one good ride; Milton goes lame.

But seriously folks.

Greys get bumps. We knew this. Milton came with bumps. We knew this. One of the bumps would wax and wane, settling into a slightly larger size with every iteration. The time would come when we would have to deal with it. We knew this.

Now is that time.

Technically, Milton has three bumps: an internal one near his boy bits, a tiny one on his tail, and one on the inside of his right gaskin. All have been deemed harmless, until such time as the mass interferes with Milton’s activities of daily living. Our vet has been loath to do anything because the bumps would just come back.

The bump in question is the one on his leg. It has gotten big enough to cause a second look to be sure he is a gelding. Ungainy. Ugly. Stinky. But not a problem. Until recently.

The bump is still the same size and grossness as before. The leg that attaches the growth has swollen. Infection? The weight of the bump straining a muscle? We don’t know. Milton is on a week of antibiotics to address/rule out the former. Then, to the vet clinic for a trim. Then, two weeks to heal.

From a horse health point of view, winter is not a bad time for this. He can heal without worrying about heat and flies and sweat. There will be plenty of cold, rainy days when he would be standing around eating hay anyway.

From human convenience point of view, now is not a bad time either. We will sit out a lot of ugly weather. Despite my excitement, we are not missing anything major. No championships. No destination events. Barring complications (cross fingers, cross fingers), our plans get pushed forward a month. No biggie.

From a whiny, self-involved point of view, I feel as if the universe said, ‘Oh, hello there. You were experiencing a moment of optimism? Let me fix that.’

Man plans …

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott


I’ve mentioned it passing [CAA Repercussions]. I want to state it outright. We have solved Milton’s NQR. (Greg modifies this with – to the extent one ever can with a horse. He doesn’t want Milton to feel the need to rise to a challenge.)

For years we’ve been wondering if Milton is Not Quite Right. The problem is the “quite”. Not right is easy. Lame. Losing weight. Radical behavior change. These are easy to spot. Diagnosis might be problematic, but you know you are looking for the root of a problem. We didn’t even know if there was a problem to find the root of.

The answer is Alabama.

But seriously folks. Current thinking is that something in our grass/soil/whatever either caused or aggravated a hind gut ulcer. Was it a serious problem? No. Is he a drama queen? Yes. It was just enough to make him a little bit cranky, degrade his movement, make him a little bit touchy.

Would he have been 100% way back when if we’d gone straight to this [Sand Colic]? Who knows. Perhaps some of the other stumbles of our drunkard’s walk took care of other issues. I know Fairy Godmother has been wondering what we did to the nice horse she sent down. Well, we finally found that horse.

Now – cross fingers – Milton’s only problems will come as a result of being a green racehorse owned by amateurs. That was also the case with Previous Horse, and he didn’t have a bad life.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Mind/Body Solutions

I mentioned my recent funk [Recap]. My riding career is going nowhere. I’m seeing 60 on the horizon. Funk seemed a reasonable response.


We have been having problems with basement damp. Found and fixed cause. Swept out the water. Discovered and threw out sodden items. Spread bleach with liberal hand.

I feel so much better. The air coming up through the vents no longer smells like a Vogon’s armpit. Relief was immediate and lasting. Nothing in my situation has changed. My horse is still a twink. I’m still a galloping grandmother (in age, not in actuality). Now I have the energy to deal with it.

Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that horse misbehavior is rooted in pain. I’m starting to wonder the same about people, having lived through several examples in my own head [Antibiotics as Mood Elevator tooth & ear, Happy Heath News eyes]. I even took this into consideration. I could not find a likely cause. Damp. Who knew?

I am a precious, picky princess, with the resilience of a daffodil. This is not news.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

My Ridiculous Anxiety

Last week, I had a mammogram. (Ladies, have you gone?) I have the dubious distinction of getting my films read on the day. I donned the robe of office, assumed positions natural to a Chinese acrobat, got scanned, and then waited. And waited. And waited. Finally the nice lady came out to tell me I was free to go. The doctor did not need to speak with me. Yay! The paperwork said no change since 2014. More yay! I speed walked out of the office.

While I waited the subjective eternity for the films to be read, I was nervous. This is understandable. What is NOT understandable is that my anxiety was no different than what I face before a horse show or an interview.

This is ludicrous.

Per Robert Fulghum:

One of life’s best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire – then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.

Quote taken from Goodreads
Beautifully – an appropriately in this case – illustrated by Zen Pencils

(I have a small quibble in that this only concerns the material plane: health, food, shelter. One can have one’s physical needs met and still be emotionally impoverished. Or vice versa. As the song says,

Love will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no love.

Girls Next Door

But I digress. In the main, Mr. Fulghum’s point is well taken.)

A horse show or an interview do not rank as inconveniences, much less problems. I know this. Knowing does nothing to stop the screaming, poop-flinging monkeys in my head.

No over-arching point here. Simply a moment in the kaleidescope that is my mind.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Letter Art: U is for Ulcer Meds



Note to self: Clean out feed shelf more often. We stopped using this in 2013 [Zeno]. Was it really that long ago? That is some serious fugiting by tempus.





Second note to self: As the days get shorter, golden hour moves up accordingly. Schedule the day so that I am not chasing the setting sun into the pasture. Hard to convince them that my photo backdrop is not their hay snack.

2016 Alphabet


T is for Training Level
S is for Swim
R is for Reins
Q is for Quote
P is for Polo Wraps
O is for Opinion
N is for Nature
M is for My Missing Motivation
L is for Leadline
K is for Knabstrupper
J is for Jenny’s Jodhpurs
I is for I Love You
H is for Halter
G is for Ghost Gallery
F is for Fence
E is for Eventing
D is for Do
C is for Carrot
B is for Brush
A is for Apple

2015 Alphabet

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott