Minnow was diagnosed with high ringbone back in 2008, and he’s been retired from all riding and competition since then. He’s lived pretty comfortably for many years, but this year he has been noticeably more sore. So in an effort to make him more comfortable for years to come I’ve been trying lots of options to help him be more pain free.
Our previous attempts to help Minnow can be read about here:
Since then we also began giving Minnow Pentosan injections because we had heard great things about this drug from some of our friends, in helping horses with arthritis. There really wasn’t any noticeable difference when Minnow was given Pentosan, so it wasn’t going to be a long term benefit to him.
We also tried giving Minnow Equioxx, which did help with his pain some, but the most helpful by far was giving Minnow bute along with a Fast track supplement to help protect the lining in his stomach.
While bute did help make Minnow more comfortable I still wanted to do all that I could to help him be more pain free, and bute is never a great long-term pain medication just because of the harm it can do to the intestines. So with the help of our vet we made another appointment for Minnow at New Bolton to have him injected with Ethyl Alcohol into his pastern joint with one of the renowned vet’s there.
The goal with the injection was to destroy the remaining cartilage in the joint allowing the joint to fuse as it has been trying to do naturally for the past several years. With this injection there is no guarantee it will work, and likely no results would even been seen for many months as it takes time for the joint to fuse. But there really is no down side to this procedure other than the risk of infection due to inserting the needle. Minnow should not be any more painful than he already is. So with fingers crossed we took Minnow back to New Bolton to have him injected.
Using X-rays, the vet was able to put the needle into the right space in Minnow’s joint to inject the alcohol (which was a bit difficult because his joint is already pretty deteriorated).
After one day we miraculously already saw improvement in Minnow. For the past 2 weeks he’s been “resting” in his stall and the small turnout paddock attached to his stall.
Here’s a video of Minnow BEFORE the injection:
Minnow a week AFTER the injection:
While Minnow is significantly improved, the hope is that his joint will continue to fuse over time and eventually he could be possibly even be pain free. He is so much more comfortable already that we have taken him off all of the pain meds and this week he gets to go out in the pasture with his buddies again.
While this procedure is never recommended for horses that will be ridden (Minnow will never be ridden again), Minnow met a lot of the criteria to make this procedure successful for him. Time will continue to tell how beneficial it will be to him.
Minnow is very special to me, and I will continue to do everything I can to make him comfortable and happy!
Boomer is one of those rare ponies that will do just about anything for his “person”, combine that with the fact that he’s pretty fearless – makes the things he can accomplish (in a short amount of time) quite amazing.
So last week I decided I wanted to teach Boomer to sit on some beanbag chairs I had been saving since I was a kid – just for this reason. He had already had some practice targeting his rear end to things, but I had never fully gotten him to sit on anything from a stand-still.
After a few short sessions over a period of 3 days I had him successfully sitting on his bean bags. He was very proud of himself once he figured out what I wanted and now he doesn’t even want to get off of the beanbags.
As he progresses in his training I will slowly remove some of the beanbags until he can hopefully just use one to sit on.
Next he’ll be learning to shake hands while sitting on his beanbag! He’s such a cool pony!
Inspiration for painting ponies and I can come from anywhere, and in this case it came when I found this image on Pinterest.
A DIY painting project from Dans Le Townhouse, I knew this idea was just up Minnow’s alley.
So last Sunday Minnow created his very own take on it by painting “Swell Waves” an original 11 x 14 canvas. I covered the top of the canvas beforehand with a piece of kraft so that the top would stay blank and left the rest up to Minnow.
We think it’s pretty cool! This original painting will be making the trek to Chincoteague with us next week during Pony Penning and will be available for purchase at the Chincoteague Pony Centre during their evening shows.
Since we know not everyone can make it to pony penning we’re also making it available for purchase from now until Sunday, July 22nd via our blog. If anyone is interested in purchasing this one-of-a-kind art please e-mail us at email@example.com for more details. First come first serve.
P.S. Have you been hearing all the news about the stallions from Assateague swimming their herds over to Chincoteague early? Three stallions have done so thus far and there are now 37 horses already in the carnival grounds! Find out more details on our Facebook page.
Minnow has been in training for the past few months as I’ve begun teaching him new tricks and a new skit for Pony Penning 2012!
Minnow especially loves this time of year as he LIVES to perform and learn new tricks. He’s a total ham even when the only audience is me, Ammo the Dachshund, and my camera.
We’ve been sharing bits and pieces of Minnow’s new act on our Facebook Page, but if you want to see the entire performance you’ll just have to make the trek to Pony Penning this year (or book us for your next event).
We’re also going to be working on a new DVD featuring several of Minnow’s favorite performances that will be available for purchase for those of you that won’t be able to see Minnow in person. Once we have that available we’ll be sure to share it with everyone!
In the meantime though, you can check out our online shop where we not only have a collection of paintings, but also the Trick Ponies of Chincoteague DVD that features all the ponies and one of Minnow’s earlier performances.
And now, here’s a few more photos of what’s been going on around the farm lately….
We hope to see you at the pony swim this year!
If you follow us on Facebook then you may already know that Minnow has been working on learning some new tricks. Most of these are in preparation for Pony Penning 2012 as I’m teaching him some new skills for a brand new performance.
Now, you may remember Workout Barbie – well this is Workout Pony! And Workout Pony is way way cooler!
We’re still in the planning stages of our performance and I have lots of ideas for new tricks, but I thought I’d share a video of our first training session with Minnow’s barbell. It’s important to note that this video was shot after I had spent about 10 minutes working on the skill with clicker training. Yes only 10 minutes!
As you can see on the video he has two skills he’s learning – “lifts” and “curls”. I was actually quite shocked he picked it up as fast as he did and he already knows the cues for each skill. As we continue on in his training we’ll work on duration and I just finished making him a more permanent barbell that looks a bit more realistic.
I’m really excited about all the new tricks we will be working on and it will be so much fun to showcase the new performance during Pony Penning.
So, anyone else teaching their horses new tricks this spring? Have any ideas for new tricks for Minnow? We’re always open to suggestions!