And there was light

Light, at last! Yesterday our mistress hung a battery-operated lantern in our stalls and this morning was the first time we had an overhead light in our stalls instead of a flashlight stuck to the stall door with a magnet. For the past several weeks, that’s all she had to work with to doctor Ziggy’s eye (which is getting better, by the way). I guess since we are back on Standard Time, she thought it best to have a more permanent light in our stalls, rather than deal with a flashlight all the time. There is no electricity in our stalls, so whatever light she put in there had to be either battery-operated or solar-powered.

Standard Time, Daylight Saving Time, I don’t know the difference. All I know is that in Springtime, my mistress leaves earlier, but also comes home earlier, and she gets to ride us in the afternoon; but in the Fall, she leaves later and gets home later when there is little to no daylight left. I will miss those afternoon rides and working different dressage movements. My side-pass is really looking good and I’m getting the hang of the flying lead changes every four strides. Ziggy is doing better with her dressage, too, in spite of her “Dressage, smessage” remarks. She’s really more into Reining and loves to show off her spins and sliding stops.

I am hoping Winter won’t be too cold or too wet. I try to get Ziggy to stand in our stalls when it rains, but she likes to stand under a big old cedar tree, instead. “I just don’t like to be confined,” she tells me. “I like being out in the open. You can go stand in your stall if you want to.” I don’t, of course. So we both just stand, side by side, under the big old cedar tree, waiting for the rain to stop.

Fall Begins Anew

The cooler weather is back, and am I glad! No more hot, humid days with sweat dripping down my sides, no more pesky mosquitoes biting my neck and tummy; of course, it’s still bot fly season and Ziggy and I have a bunch of sticky yellow eggs on our legs, even though my mistress regularly removes them those dratted bot flies keep coming back.

The farrier came last Saturday and I am proud to say he was pleased with the condition of my hooves: the slight quarter crack has all grown out (it took 18 weeks) so my hooves look just as good as Ziggy’s. You see, I inherited poor hoof wall from my dam, so my mistress has to take extra care of my hooves so they don’t crack or split. I also get a special supplement in my feed. Ziggy gets it too, although she doesn’t really need it. Her hooves are rock hard, just like her dam’s. Oh, well.

I don’t mind getting my hooves trimmed. It feels good after the farrier is done, I just don’t like the dewormer our mistress gives us after the trimming. I don’t see how Ziggy can just stand there while our mistress squirts the stuff into our mouths. Try as I might, I can never spit the stuff out: it cakes my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Yuk! Of course, our mistress makes up for it by giving each of us a couple of treats. Ziggy is partial to the apple-flavored ones, I don’t really care: a treat is a treat. Yum!

Mycotic Keratitis

Last time I was talking about my pasture buddy’s eye and the fact that she had Mycotic Keratitis, a fungal infection accompanied by corneal inflammation, also referred to as Keratomycosis. Since then, I had my little feline friend, Chewbakka, do a little research on this condition, since I have been really worried about Ziggy and the possibility of her losing sight in her affected eye. In a nutshell, this is what he found:

Mycotic Keratitis is a serious eye disease in horses, the treatment of which can be both challenging and frustrating. Caused by fungal pathogens that invade the corneal tissue either through trauma or a preexisting bacterial infection, the signs include: spasmodic blinking of the eyelids (blepharospasm), contraction of the eye’s pupil (miosis), watering of the eyes (epiphora), and painful sensitivity to light (photophobia). Mycotic Keratitis is treated using topical antifungal ophthalmic ointments like Natamycin, Miconazole and Itraconazole. Atropine is also used to maintain pupil dilation thus preventing the formation of adhesions of the iris to the cornea. Successful therapy often requires six to eight weeks of intensive, and often expensive, treatment. Commonly, 50% of affected eyes will retain acceptable vision.

Ziggy has been treated now for about three weeks, so she still has a way to go. Dr L. came out yesterday to check on her, and he seemed pleased with her progress. Ziggy is now resigned to the fact that our mistress will be putting ointment in her eye twice a day (she refers to it as “gunk”) for another five weeks. She just wishes the sunlight didn’t hurt so much. I told her she should wear the fly mask that our mistress modified for her so it would filter more sunlight, but Ziggy claims it itches and she has gotten very adept at removing it.