On Responsibility and Perspective

As mentioned in the previous post, in addition to his Cushing's diagnosis and weird mystery lameness, Dino has also developed an abscess in the sole of his right front foot, (which thankfully opened up and has started draining!) and Dr. Liz found some mighty strange things in his most recent blood test.

Instead of one slightly elevated muscle enzyme, she found THREE. She explained that this could indicate one of two things:

1. Dino had sustained a one-time injury, or "muscle insult," and this was just his body's reaction to it. If given some time off, his levels should return to normal.

2. Dino has Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy, otherwise known as PSSM or EPSM. Horses and ponies with this condition can't metabolize starches and sugars correctly in their muscle cells. These substances build up in the cells, and cause soreness, stiffness, tying-up (severe muscle cramps) and overall crankiness. Thankfully it's easily managed with regular exercise and turnout, a low-starch, low-sugar diet (which we've already started!) and supplementation of Vitamin E, Selenium, and extra fat. It's not a life-threatening disease, and actually would explain a lot of Dino's history of balking and bucking while he was a school pony, as well as his more recent lameness. Dr. Liz is coming back next week to re-check his levels, and we'll formulate a plan from there.

As you can imagine, all of these recent events have been pretty frustrating and disheartening for me. It's hard to see your animal sick, injured, and even just "not quite right". Like any owner, I just want my pony to be healthy and happy. I think it can be especially difficult to have a sick or injured horse. As Dino's rider as well as his caretaker, so many of my dreams and goals are wrapped up in his well-being. I had plans to continue training, take lessons, go on trail rides, and if we could get good enough, eventually compete in the jumpers. Having to let go of all of that, even temporarily, is sad and disappointing.

But riding and showing is not the primary reason I have Dino. I adopted him because he is the equine love of my life. He is funny and smart, a blast to hang out with, and whinnies when he sees me. Dino is mine because I love him probably more than any human being has ever loved him in his life. And I made a promise to care for him until the day he leaves this world, no matter what. That is my responsibility, and that is what I'll do for Dino whether he is rideable or not.

The other day my dear friend Heather said a wonderful thing to me:

"Maybe God didn't give Dino to you, Maybe He gave YOU to DINO."

And you know what? I'm starting to think He did.


  1. And there is no better person in this world that I think takes better care of him and looks after his well-being

  2. <3 =)

    I'm glad things seem to be looking up, if only because of a bit of a different perspective.

    I love you, friend and I second, third AND fourth what Mike said!


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