Lilly Brumby Meets Dr. Johnson

Friday, April 2, 2010

This Thursday, Bill and I took Lilly to see Dr.Ted Johnson at the Vermont-New Hampshire Veterinary Clinic in E. Dummerston, Vermont. Because of Lilly's sensitive feet, there has always been the underlying question: What if there's something more to it than just plain ole sensitive feet? Since we actually can't see inside Lilly's hoof, what if I was actually ignoring a serious issue? It had nettled Bill and me for a while. By having a vet take X-Rays, we'd be able to put any old, nagging worries to bed. I chose Dr. Ted Johnson, about an hour north of us, based on Bill's recommendation. I confess I was a little worried. What if he found something? I adopted the attitude that knowledge is power and on Thursday afternoon, we got ready to go.

Here are brumby's traveling quarters! Not so bad in there. Looks like her kitchen has been fully stocked with some yummy farm fresh hay!

Luckily, this is a horse who has never had any trouble going into the trailer. Gooood brumby!

There is brumby sticking her nose out of her window. I wonder what she was thinking. She was certainly a very good sport about it all.

The hay must have been comforting. Or maybe she didn't care about being in the trailer at all!

There's the view of brumby's trailer from the cab of the truck. Did I mention that the day before one of the truck's brakelines had snapped? Or whatever it is a brakeline does when it decides to stop working. Bill had to call his mechanic Everett and charm him into fixing the truck at the 11th hour! But he did! The truck was good to go! But just in case, before we left, Bill practiced the sequence of events that would be necessary for him to stop the truck if his other brake line went on holiday. Bill is always prepared. He never some of us.

We arrived with no incidents!

As soon as we got there I met Dr. Johnson. I could devote much of this blog post to detailing how dreamy Dr. Johnson is. He's young and Robert Redford-like, very friendly, funny, and straightaway asked me a lot of questions about Lilly. This picture was take after Dr. Johnson asked me to "trot your mare." There Brumby and I go, trotting up the road. I was thankful it was such a beautiful day.

He could see Lilly's was ouchy on her front left foot. But not much, he said. Of course, there were no little stones on the road for her to get hurt on. Here he is taking out his apron to check the soles of her feet. The whole time he was working, he was talking--explaining and joking and being very wonderful.

Lilly flinched when he was doing this.

And this.

Uh-oh. Maybe my brumby felt a little nervous after all. The vet joked, "You couldn't teach her to do that in the trailer?" And Bill joked back, "No, we taught her to do it here!"

Then it was time for the radiograph portion of the exam. Can you believe he actually handed me a pink lead apron to put on? Perfect!

Lilly had to stand on these blocks for her X-Rays. She was the best brumby in the world, stepping right up onto those little wooden squares like that! She was like a little lamb for us!

And she stood there so quiet and still while Ted Johnson arranged all the plates here and there, in front and in the back, on the side and everywhere. The whole time he was working, the guy was smiling. Totally cheerful bloke, he was. He explained all about the equipment, and exactly what he was doing.

Another horse may have tried to step off these little blocks. Not Lilly. It was a bit like brumby yoga.

Maybe it was her new pink halter that made her so happy and calm. But you couldn't ask for a nicer horse. Half way through the picture-taking, the nurse came out and asked who the vet was working on. He said "Brumby," and she said "Then where is Lilly?" hee hee. I better get those names straight while visiting the doctor! The staff was also full of uber-friendly people. They helped us figure out how to get there. That was after MapQuest had become MapQuestion Mark.

Here are what my brumby's ears looked like the whole time.

Then all we had to do was wait for the vet techs to develop the pictures. I posted one at the very top of this post. When they were done being developed, we went in to look at this on the computer while Dr. Johnson explained what we were looking at. I didn't take any pictures because I wanted to listen to everything he said. (Later Bill went in and took that picture on this post of the x-ray.) But here is the best news yet: LILLY"S FEET ARE JUST FINE! No pathology! It is all as we had suspected! Just plain ole sensitive tootsies! YEAY!! He did say maybe she would benefit from a wedge heel. But that is it! On the ride home, I was able to heave a sign of relief.

While we were in the barn waiting for the x-rays to be developed, Bill was fascinated by this chute that Dr. Johnson had made himself. Bill took many pictures. I think he is thinking of making the same chute in his own barn!

We had such a good experience at the VT-NH Vet Clinic!

Back into the trailer Brumby went!

By the time I hoisted myself back into the cab to drive home, Bill had already called his friend the farrier to see if we could get some wedge shoes. The farrier's place was on the way home. So we stopped there. This is his barn. He is quite a character. I should have snapped his picture.

So here is Lilly's new wedge shoe. I am not even sure she will use it. I'd like to keep her barefoot until May. But by June I suspect she will be wearing shoes again. That is OK with me. Dr Johnson said just what the farrier had said two summers ago: some horses just go better with shoes on. And Lilly is one of those horses.

This picture is better at showing the wedge. I will keep you posted on that!

If you are ever in New England and need a vet, I hope you will remember the name Ted Johnson! Because he is terrific.


Pony Girl said...

What great news! Thanks for sharing this, it was very interesting. My Boy has sensitive hooves too, he only wears fronts shoes in the winter but for the riding season, I keep them on him all around.
I do not think My Boy would have stood there so nicely on those blocks. Makes me kinda want to try it though, LOL!
What will the wedges do specifically that other shoes don't? Do the wedges just help them stay on better?

juliette said...

This is the best post ever!!!! (I think I say that every time.) But, really, truly, you did a fabulous job of documenting this amazing visit. From capturing your Brumby's nose peeking out of the trailer, to the handsome vet, to the pink apron and Brumby standing so adorably up on her blocks. I worked as a vet tech for years holding those plates behind the legs and feet of fidgety horses and I can tell you I never saw anything like your Brumby!!! She is absolutely radiant up on her blocks like a princess. What a wonderful Brumby. Thanks for sharing that trip and...relief...the lovely princess feet are fine!

Paint Girl said...

What a wonderful brumby to stand up there on those blocks!! I can tell you that mine would not have done that!
I think the DR gave you the pink apron because he saw Lilly's pink halter and knew you would love it!
I am so happy to hear that Lilly doesn't have anything wrong with her feet! That is the most excellent news!

Anonymous said...

Glad there was nothing serious wrong - those x-rays look good - I should post Maisie's x-rays sometime to compare.

Frizzle said...

Wooohooo, Yoga Brumby! That is one laid-back pony ya got there, missy. :-D
So glad to hear that her hoofs are a-okay. I'm sure that was a huge reliefe to hear.
I do have to be a total safety nazi, though, and point out that it is safer to outfit your brumby in a breakable halter for trailering (either all-leather or nylon with a leather crown-piece). She does look very fetching in that hot pink number, though!

baystatebrumby said...

Frizzle! You almost gave me a heart attack! I saw the words "safety nazi" and almost passed out! Don't scare me like that! The truth of the matter is that my friend Bill does not believe in using breakaway anything. He believes that breakaway halters just teach a horse to pull back and get away with it. All of the horses at Bear River are taught to be ground tied. None of them wear halters in the pasture. I have some videos that show Bill training some of his horses! Take a a look! They are waaaay fun! and

Jocelyn said...

What a good girl to stand on those blocks!

Must be such a relief to know her feeties are fine.

and BTW, your Vet is almost as handsome as mine. :)Meow.......

Frizzle said...

Sorry I almost gave you a heart attack! :-D The reason I think breakaway is safer in trailers is in case of an accident. I've heard of some awful stories of horses getting hung up, etc., because they didn't have breakaway halters and/or trailer ties. So, it's a bit of a different situation in the trailer.
I will have to go and watch those vidoes!

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