Now into week 3 of boxrest...

Mary Poppins

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#1
Time does really fly, but it also stands still at the same time.

Ben is now in his third week of box rest after his operation. He is finally settling down and becoming more like his old self as he has been incredibly stressed over the last few weeks. I have found that routine is really important to him. I visit him 3 times per day and do everything in the same order each time so that he knows exactly what to expect. He has finally decided to drink some water which is a huge relief and he is eating loads of hay (soaked for at least 8 hours). He enjoys having a bucket of cut grass at lunchtime and is pooing for England. This makes me relax slightly that the initial risk of colic has passed, but I remain vigilant. He has lost weight since he came out of hospital which is no bad thing as he was very fat!

His stitches came out this week and I was so proud that he didn't need to be sedated for this. The vet wouldn't be drawn into any discussions on prognosis for recovery and told me to try and enjoy the box rest and time will tell if he gets better. He is having two 5 minute walk outs per day and this is just to stop his body seizing up and making sure the blood is flowing round his body. He was getting very strong on these walks as he kept pulling for grass, but he soon worked out that if he walked round nicely and went back into his stable with no fuss he got an apple. He now can't wait to get back to the stable for this treat!

His coat is coming through and he is very fluffy. He has a long mane and is hot underneath it. I have always fully clipped him in September so I am looking forward to seeing how his coat grows this year. He has equine massage and physio appointments booked for the next few weeks so hopefully we can keep his body as functioning as possible.

So all in all, it's going as well as it can. We have 5 weeks and 5 days to find out if the operation worked and if we can start planning for the future. I am enjoying the nice moments as best I can and trying not to think about what the future holds. It scares me to think he might not be here at Christmas but when I snuggle and smell him each morning and night I feel thankful that he is here today and I try to enjoy it as much as I can.
 

Mary Poppins

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#3
It's good to hear he has settled into it, it can be such a challenge! fingers crossed it keeps going to plan :)
It is so challenging and I feel guilty every time I leave him. I moved his stable so he is in a busier barn with overnight company, but this isn't always great because he gets upset when he sees other horses being turned out. I just hope that I am not putting him through this for nothing and after the 8 weeks are up he will have shown some signs of improvement.
 

Kite_Rider

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Stay positive, I know you have to consider the ‘what if’s’ but until you get there it’s best to just keep positive thoughts in your head. You won’t know until you get there so no point stressing right now. Fingers and toes crossed for him.
 
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Mary Poppins

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Thanks for the good wishes. I am trying to live in the moment and not dwell but it's so hard. He has been significantly lame for 9 months now and I have to dig very deeply to find positive thoughts. My favourite time with him is early in the morning (I get there at 5:15am) when I have mucked him out and given him new hay, and I just listen to him eating and I know that for that moment he is happy. I really wish I could keep him at home. I am sitting 'working from home' right now and would just love to be able to see him while I do this.
 

Jessey

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#9
I can't remember if I said before now but the way I got through Jess' lameness was not to look at the bigger picture but to focus on the small one, just look for the good thing in each day or visit, she's a sniff better, she's bright in herself, she's settled to restriction well, she's eating like a horse etc. :p focusing on those little good things each day was far easier on my brain than thinking she's still lame, we're X months in she should be better by now etc. :)
 

Mary Poppins

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I can't remember if I said before now but the way I got through Jess' lameness was not to look at the bigger picture but to focus on the small one, just look for the good thing in each day or visit, she's a sniff better, she's bright in herself, she's settled to restriction well, she's eating like a horse etc. :p focusing on those little good things each day was far easier on my brain than thinking she's still lame, we're X months in she should be better by now etc. :)
That is definitely the way to look at things. One day at a time. And there are positive things about each visit. For a start the second he sees me he starts calling to me. While I know that it is only because I bring him food, it makes me feel very loved. Other people at the yard tell me that he can be in his stable keeping himself to himself, but as soon as my car appears at the top of the drive he perks up and starts calling. He must know either the sound or smell of my car. It mainly smells of him!
 
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Star the Fell

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#12
That was a lovely positive post, thank you for keeping us updated.
I’m glad he has settled into his new routine, funny what they quickly get used to....anticipation of an apple can work wonders.
 
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Flipo's Mum

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#13
Glad to hear he’s settling into the routine. Reading this brings back how it all felt for me and I can’t believe it’s more than a year ago since he was given the all clear so this will hopefully become a blip in an otherwise wonderful friendship for you both.
I did the same and just tried to put the injury out of my mind, ignore the lameness and just value the time we had together.
I had unbelievable guilt at the weekend as I felt awful if I went home and sat on the couch while he was trapped in a box. So much so that I generally went down there and stayed the majority of the day, just reading my book and entertaining him with cuddles.
I spent new year ringing of the bells sitting with him in his stable while he worried about the fireworks in the pitch black. It was a sucky time but at the same point it was something of an experience that I value having had as it made our bond even stronger. If that was possible!
Hugs to the big lad. Our heavies are worth their flippin weight.
 
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Mary Poppins

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#14
I'm glad you are keeping positive and trying to enjoy this time with Ben.

On a mischievous note, is he just too big to keep in your back garden? ;)
Not on box rest he isn’t! I could put together a temporary stable sized paddock and as my garden isn’t very big, it wouldn’t be a complete disaster if he escaped. Not sure what the neighbours would say about it although they could have all the free manure they wanted. Just not sure he would fit through the side gate without him getting stuck.
 

Mary Poppins

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Glad to hear he’s settling into the routine. Reading this brings back how it all felt for me and I can’t believe it’s more than a year ago since he was given the all clear so this will hopefully become a blip in an otherwise wonderful friendship for you both.
I did the same and just tried to put the injury out of my mind, ignore the lameness and just value the time we had together.
I had unbelievable guilt at the weekend as I felt awful if I went home and sat on the couch while he was trapped in a box. So much so that I generally went down there and stayed the majority of the day, just reading my book and entertaining him with cuddles.
I spent new year ringing of the bells sitting with him in his stable while he worried about the fireworks in the pitch black. It was a sucky time but at the same point it was something of an experience that I value having had as it made our bond even stronger. If that was possible!
Hugs to the big lad. Our heavies are worth their flippin weight.
Oh yes they are! He is worth every sleepless night and every penny I spend. I do feel tremendous guilt and feel really sorry that he has to go through it. I have had a few people suggesting that small field turnout would be a better option, but I don’t feel like I can take that risk. This operation was life saving for him and if his scar tissue doesn’t form in the right place there is nothing else that can be done. It would be daft to risk it now.
 

Flipo's Mum

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#17
Eventually I got brace enough to do the small field turn out instead of Inhand grazing and it did help tremendously with my use of time, but I couldn’t do that until I was happy his hoof was on the mend and that he wasn’t going to Hooley about the place, so I’d be doing just the same as you.
 
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Mary Poppins

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Eventually I got brace enough to do the small field turn out instead of Inhand grazing and it did help tremendously with my use of time, but I couldn’t do that until I was happy his hoof was on the mend and that he wasn’t going to Hooley about the place, so I’d be doing just the same as you.
I am hoping after 8 weeks he may be able to go out in a little pen, but we will see. He isn’t easily held in by electric fencing and jumped out of the pen he was in with his splint so I really don’t want that to happen again. One day at a time is the best way of looking at it...x