Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Happy 2nd Birthday, Maizey

How tiny!!!
Also, she was FERAL with a capital F.

I can hardly believe another year has just flown by - it seems like it was just yesterday that we were headed to pick up an unhandled weanling in another province. 

I remember longing for a foal from this particular stallion for eons, and having been so close to making that a reality, only to have mother nature throw in a cruel twist of fate. In more ways than one, I try to live by the adage that "everything happens for a reason". Had I gotten that colt four years ago, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to fall in love with Annie. And even moreso, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to fall in love with Maizey.  

Admittedly, the "plans" I had had for Maizey were dashed rather quickly, given her ringbone diagnosis and poor prognosis for a riding career, broodmare life and overall quality of life. It was (and continues to be) a very tough pill to swallow despite the evidence to the contrary.

This will forever be one of my favorite photos.
Momma Bannie and her baby<3

Her birthdays in particular are a means of celebration, but also a moment for me to pause and reflect on the 364 days previous. I am elated to witness the progress in her overall health and wellness, as it appears to be well above the assumed outcome when she was radiographed in early Spring last year. 

But at the same time, I am guarded.

I am painfully aware that a long life is not in the cards for my sweet Moo. The abundance of osteoarthritis in her pastern is painstakingly obvious, and being that she is so young and still growing, her body will certainly slow long before she or I wish.

That's not to say her birthday isn't celebratory. Instead, it is a double-edged sword in that we are closer to finality than we were at the start, but also, each and every birthday she passes is a milestone that professionals had stated she never would see.

Questionable attire on my part, but hey... I was
busy riding beforehand and then changed into a cooler

We continue to cherish each and every day that comes, and I continue to treat Moo as if she is still a normal young horse. We have shied away from a lot of classical training components (ie lunging) to reduce the strain on not only her legs, but her affected pastern. 

As part of our video conference with our Vet, we've made the decision to send her out to pasture in June to grow, eat grass, and fart around. Radiographs and other diagnostics will follow in July, when the Vet rescheduled to come up, and we'll see what options we have and if the area is in the process of fusing or not. I have a lot of things to mull over, but am choosing to wait until we cross that bridge.

The bestest Moo cow <3

These days, Maizey and I have been busy revisiting a lot of old questions (namely The Tarp of Death) and have also added a few new questions (bridling!). She is still a sweet natured lady, but also has a bit of stubborn streak if she doesn't wanna. She is pretty amicable though, and is handled by a friend's autistic sister with ease - in fact, she seems to act even sweeter when K is handling her. Go figure. 

Regular things like trimmings, tying, sacking out, and basic leading skills are worked on sporadically over the week. I try not to do too too much with her, as she is still just a baby. Most sessions are about 15 minutes in duration, unless we are hand-walking and in which case we can toodle for 45-60 minutes. She hasn't had the opportunity to be ponied since last year, as N retired AJ due to some medical issues. He is still happy to show Maizey the ropes (tarps really aren't that scary, Moo!) and be a form of support for her, which is great.

0/10, worst carrot ever.

At the end of May we will be hitching up and hauling AJ and Moo 45min out to a summer boarding pasture. It is a great opportunity to let the horses be horses, and especially in a young and growing horse's case, it is a perfect way to "let them grow up", being that they will learn to navigate a varying amount of terrain (and strengthen their bones and tendons as well as build muscles), learn herd dynamics (also finding buddies to play with and how to play appropriately), and of course, eat as much grass as their bellies can take.

As always, a close eye will be kept on her transition from paddock to (true) pasture lifestyle and if things don't work out, we can always bring them home. For her sake, I am hoping she'll be able to stay out there until the Fall. I imagine she will look a great deal more grown up after a few months at pasture.

One day, one month, one year at a time.

All of these small steps are inches closer to where we want to be, and I am, admittedly, holding my breath for the best outcome for us both.


  1. Happy Birthday Maizey! I'm so glad she found you. You are doing all the best things for her.

  2. Happy Birthday Maizey!!

    I can imagine how difficult this is for you and I'm glad that she has you. <3

  3. What a lucky, lucky girl to have you advocating for her. A few months in the pasture sounds like a perfect plan. I’m still so sorry this hasn’t turned out like anyone would have expected. I admire your excellent decisions for her even more and continue to hope for best possible futures.

    1. I am continuing to stay cautiously optimistic - she is starting to surpass some milestones the Vets were pretty skeptical of her reaching, but we still have a few more to hit (one of the biggest being her 3rd birthday, as I was told if I avoided doing fusion surgery, she would be crippled by age 3).

      It's a whole cluster tho, because we have one Vet saying she will not be "sound" without it, but another who agreed to avoid it due to the additional arthritis that will surely grow in the places that were scraped down. It really is half of one, six dozen of the other because there really isn't a solid choice. So for now, we wait and see.

  4. Happy Birthday Maizey! Such a sweetheart, so glad she has you to love her.

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