Cushings Update

Remember this guy?

He still got it.

I know, the baby shot displays a way better collection, but think of him as a lazy teenager at the moment, kinda all grown apart, with a shoulder that is way too small for his behind…

The point is, Ablaze is still the star that keeps me smiling everyday. It’s funny how he came into my life because I wanted Tardis and she was pregnant with him, and he turned out to be the one.

He waits for me to show up every day, he starts calling out the second he hears my scooter on the road, a long way away, and he always comes running, even when the others can’t be bothered. And yes, he still licks my face. I doubt that will ever go away.

4 years. That’s how old Tardis was when she had him. I can’t believe he is already 4 years old. And she is 8. The picture below is Tardis, by the way. They look a lot alike 😉

It’s a bit up and down with her at the moment. I was warned by a lot of people, when she was first diagnosed with Cushings, that medicating her might not be the best solution, but my vets were very sure and I have to admit, it made sense to me. It still does.

I do see what people warned me about, though. The medication has side effects, like depression and loss of appetite.

At first, she just improved. The huge belly and the swellings went down, she started playing again, and all in all, she felt much happier and less stressed than she had in a long time. It felt almost too easy, to just give her a little pill everyday, and watch this fatal illness disappear.

It turns out, it was. As much as her last blood work came back perfect, I started seeing a change for the worse in her lately.

Tardis was always a pony who would eat a lot. I am not saying that she was starved with her previous owners, none of them, because I don’t think she was, but she displays a lot of behavior of a horse that hasn’t had unlimited access to food all her life. Or, perhaps, of a small pony who has had to fight for the hay on the pasture.

Since I got her, she would linger by the hay with Marble, long after the boys had stopped eating and walked away.

Suddenly, that changed. I started to notice that she didn’t even want to show up when I was filling up their hay wheels. She would just remain where ever she was when I showed up. If she was sleeping, she didn’t wake up. If she was at the far end of the pasture, she did not follow the others to the hay.

I get that it is summer and we do have more grass now that we do when it is winter, and maybe she just isn’t hungry, but it seemed way out of character for her, since she was always a pony to keep eating, even when she was no longer hungry.

All in all, I felt like she was losing her spark and I decided to try and cut back on her medication. I know. Half of the equestrian world, my vets included, are screaming at me that I am irresponsible and I should never do that, while the other half is cheering for removing her meds altogether.

Cutting her medication got her spirits back. She started eating again and the sparkle in her eyes returned, but sadly, so did her big belly.

I feel like I am always at a loss with my horses. No matter what I do, there is always something I should be doing differently, or better. I honestly don’t know how to help her the best. I talked to my vet, and she told me to not cut the meds. Then I looked at my pony, and I will take a big belly and a sparkle in her eyes, any day of the week, unless…

Unless it is killing her. Cushings is usually fatal, one way or another. What if I could keep her alive for the next ten years on full medication, while she might be dying slowly, on half? But then again, what if she was unhappy for those ten years, while she might live happily for five years? I wonder what she would choose, if I could ask her. And I wonder, as always, if I am imagining things. I wish sometimes that blind faith in my vets was something I could have. It must be so nice to just hand over the responsibility to someone else in situations like this. And I trust my vets, I do. As much as I possibly can.

I just trust my pony more, and she wasn’t happy.

Now, I get that some horses remain sleeping, even when I show up. Apocalipse learned that from his mother and he knows that I’ll feed him where he is, if he doesn’t get up.

He is not sick, that is just who he is. Food never mattered to him and he is always teaching me when to show up and when not too. Too early in the morning, and he is not getting up.

He has been playing with Tardis a lot lately. He is trying so hard to include her and she keeps rejecting him. I know it looks like he is mounting her in this picture, but he is not. He is herding her, and she is refusing, so he is lifting his front legs off the ground to protect himself, because she will kick him.

He is so careful with her, so attentive, and he never gives up. I adore the look on his face when he tries to play with her. It is very different from when he plays with his father…

Apocalipse was so made to walk on two legs. He is astounding.

Comparing his balance to Ablaze, who is trying to play with Saleem the same way. Needless to say, Saleem has a much better shot at handling Ablaze…

So, I guess that nothing much has changed on my pasture. Saleem is eating again, luckily, after he broke his tooth, and he is even gaining weight now. Ablaze and Apocalipse kinda runs the show, and they are even starting to like each other.

Does Ablaze have a big belly like his mom?

No, stop it, V. He is fine. Of course he is.

I haven’t mentioned Marble much lately. I honestly don’t know what to update on her. She still has issues with locking stifles and she is still pretty aggressive at times, but all in all, she is mellowing.

The funny part about Marble was that no matter how defensive she was, she was very trusting as well. I could always get near her when she was lying down, for instance, which is a huge vote of confidence from a horse. I guess that the reason I am not updating much on her, is that I am still trying to figure her out.

And of course, because she is dark, and my Samsung refuses to take none-blurry pictures of her. I am convinced that every time they make a software update, they do so to make your phone useless and force you to buy a new one. I mean, seriously, I can’t find the camera settings anymore. Anyone?

I started this post by saying that Ablaze was the one. That is not true. They all are, in their own unique ways. Imagine what I would worry about, if I didn’t have them?

What would make me smile? What would make me get out the door at 6 am, and get a sunrise shot like this?

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About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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