Saturday, July 10, 2010

A HUGE Thank You


I can't believe the amount of wonderful, positive support I got in response to my post yesterday. It's really cheesy sounding but your words of kindness have really meant the world to me and helped me a lot in getting through these last 24 hours. The shock has worn off, and I'm feeling ready to tackle the next months of healing. Ringo is in good spirits so far and is a superstar on his hand walks. I'm sure he'll become a little more recalcitrant as he realizes that he's in his stall for the long haul, but I'm certainly enjoying our loose-lead ambles around the property at the moment. We got poured on today, and I think Ringo enjoyed having some summer rain on his back =). My mom is also amazing and was waiting for us up by the house when we came walking up the driveway on our midday walk today with a big handful of carrots; I'm sure Ringo isn't going to complain about the pampering, at the very least!

(Thug life)

The plan is a week of twice daily surpass (a topical anti-inflammatory) and wrapping coupled with three short hand walks a day, followed by a week of once daily surpass and wrapping with three hand walks a day, and then two weeks of just wrapping and hand walking before we begin the process for stem cell and PRP injections. This delay is to give the inflammation in the tendon time to go down before we inject some foreign (and possibly further inflaming) material into it. The process for gathering the stem cells sounds epic (the vet will be taking the base cells from the bone marrow in his sternum!!) and is going to be done on farm, so I will try my best to not pass out and take pictures when that happens.

(Ringo is a model patient for Surpass application)

In excellent unrelated news, Kiki (who has been dealing with an unfortunate but blessedly very minor case of cellulitis) is back in action and getting ready for Stuart, where I got her in at the last minute in Ringo's place. It's another big atmospheric show like Groton House but I'm sure Kiki will be up for the challenge; hopefully this time I'll remember to actually bring my brain along when I get in the saddle!

(Kiki is loving both her recently de-barred window and being back in action for Stuart)

Also, my parents got a puppy today!!! We lost our wonderful Jack Russell / Lhasa Apso mix this spring, and the pack had been feeling pretty small without him (well, according to my mom; three dogs was plenty for me!). So, we've been waiting all summer to pick up the newly born half-brother of our wonderful little dog Daisy. Today, "Duck" was finally ready to get picked up!!!

(The newest member of the Family, Ducky!!)

(Me and Ducky - he's so tiny!)

Thank you all again for your wonderful words of encouragement.

(PS - Happy National Helmet Day!!)


Jess said...

Put your brave hat on when they come to collect the cells from his bone marrow. It's a pretty powerful experience, and I've seen the weakest horses shutter in pain, even with the drugs to keep them quiet and nearly falling over. Definitely time for you to be the brave, strong Mom that you are!!!! He'll be back in action before you know it :-)

toni ostini said...

This is Gina

I am very sorry to hear that Ringo is out with a tendon injury. Best wishes for a full recovery.

I would like to address a few of the comments that you and your mother have posted in this blog and would invite you, your mother, father and any of your friends and followers of this blog to contact me personally by phone 805-610-0879 if you would like to discuss any of these issues further. I believe that I have always acted in Ringo's best interests and of yours. It is my firm belief that when there is any confusion over circumstances leading to an event, that one on one personal communication is the best way to resolve it. I am open and willing to discuss it with anyone.

As I review this blog and your current interpretation of the events, I notice some inaccuracies. I took Ringo to Davis for ultrasound actually at my insistence and not at your request. One of my fanatic paranoia's is tendon injuries in event horses and beginning about 10 years ago with McKinlaigh began doing "pre-season" ultrasound scans. Even though the vets look at me like I'm crazy, I want to have a base-line scan before any real work begins, so that if some issue comes up later in the year, we have something to compare it to. At the time of the scan at Davis, Ringo was experiencing no heat or swelling in the leg and no lameness. A perfect time to scan the tendon. Contrary to your post, they did observe an irregularity in the tendon. They were not able to assess whether this was an old injury or new as he was experiencing no clinical signs. What we really needed to determine whether it was old or new was a previous scan of the tendons. I asked you if you had him scanned during your pre-purchase. For me, this is standard operating procedure when purchasing a horse that has previously competed at upper levels. You found out that there was no scan done at the time of purchase, leaving us no way of knowing if this lesion was an old injury. Recently, I have heard comments that Ringo did in fact have an old injury to his tendon before you bought him.

If you remember correctly, my recommendation followed the recommendation of the vets at Davis, to PROCEED WITH CAUTION which is exactly what we did. They suggested slowly bringing him back into work, carefully observing the tendon for any signs of heat or swelling. In the following weeks, we were vigilant for any changes in the leg. There were none even with the gradual introduction of low fences, conditioning work and eventually full work. The conclusion made by all was that this was an old injury that we had discovered. I suggested to you at the time, to scan him again at Davis following your first cross country run of the season to make sure there were no changes to the scan. I don't believe you ever did this. As with any old tendon injury there is always a greater chance of re-injury and in my program we are vigilant for watching for signs of increased heat and swelling to prevent further damage to the area.

According to your older posts, you were very happy with how Ringo was jumping although you struggled with some inter-personal issues. In your posting from Thermal, you described several excellent clean rounds and in your posting on Feb 13 describing your jump school, you stated that Ringo felt "fabulous". Also in your post from Feb 21, your description of your xc school was that he "jumped really well" and again on March 2 that "Ringo jumped great".

toni ostini said...

Part 2

The real change in your tune began at Three Day Ranch. On March 6, when describing your goals, you stated that you had not yet achieved confidence jumping full 3'9" courses and in reference to feeling confident in Intermediate coursework, that "I can do some Intermediate questions but am not doing full Intermediate courses, show jumping or cross country yet"

The week before Three Day Ranch, I was helping you prepare your dressage test for Preliminary when you informed me that you had entered Intermediate. I was surprised to say the least, as you had not told me this. I did not feel that you were ready for Intermediate as from now reading your posts, you did not feel you were ready either. In your jump school the next day, I attempted to have you jump some bigger fences in preparation for the weekend and it did not go well. It was my recommendation to you at this time to drop back down to Preliminary. You were not able to do this, so I attempted to help you in the schooling rounds the day before the show, but it was clear that you and Ringo were not ready to be competing over those heights which resulted in repeated stops and loss of confidence for both of you.

At this point, I think the combination of your disappointment in not meeting your goals combined with your unhappiness with your living situation and not feeling like you fit in with our program, left you frustrated and anxious to return to your program at Stanford. You wanted to pull out of the Galway show and return to Stanford immediately. I suggested having Bec ride him at Galway to restore Ringo's confidence, which is exactly what she did, riding him in a relaxed, smooth dressage test and clean rounds in cross country and show jumping to a 4th place finish and returning home to Rancho Del Rio with cool, clean tendons.

When you removed him from our care the next day, he had just confidently completed a Preliminary level event and was sound with no heat or filling anywhere.

Again, I reiterate my openness to discuss anything further with anyone who reads this post and wish you, Kate and Ringo the best of luck in the future.


Katherine Erickson said...

Hi Gina,

I actually don't see many of the inaccuracies that you point out. I wrote that a small lesion was found at Davis; this is not contrary to the irregularity you mention. I agree with you that Ringo was always sound and that the tendon carried no heat or unusual swelling besides the small lump. As I have now stated multiple times, Ringo was never unsound or even showed the precursors of unsoundness in your care or beyond, which I had hoped when I initially wrote my post would be clear enough to show that I did not think you were being negligent in any way. When Suzie and your sister posted their concerns, I explicitly stated twice that I did not and do not think that your care of my horse was sub-par or negligent. Again, I have now stated multiple times that it was my responsibility to get Ringo ultrasounded again and that was my fault, and no one else's, when I failed to do so. I don't see how this description of what happened could in any way be construed as blaming you or the care you gave my horse.

As for being happy with certain rides throughout the winter, I honestly find that to be largely irrelevant. The point of what I wrote on Friday was not to determine an iron-clad link between this injury and his stopping because it's obvious that no such direct connection exists. I will stand firm, however, in my opinion that there was probably more going on than any of us had realized. Despite his continued soundness (which, again, I have stressed from the beginning), the severity of his current injury indicates that it was definitely cooking for many months. It clearly wasn't hurting him enough to stop every day at every fence (or even keep him from jumping quite well sometimes), and it wasn't hurting him enough to stop when he was being piloted by someone of Bec's caliber, but there was something happening. At this point, we'll never know to what degree he was being affected, but I will argue strongly that there was something, however minor, taking its toll.

I don't really know how to phrase what I've said in my original post and these last three comments more explicitly. I do not and have never blamed you for what happened. You name was mentioned in the original post because you played a very large part in Ringo's and my life this spring, both positively and negatively, but with no purpose further than that. I take ultimate responsibility for what happened and am, at the end of the day, saddened only by my own shortcomings as a horse owner. This is what I have said from the beginning.

I'm sorry that I offended you, your sister, and your client so deeply, but at this point there is little more I can do if you refuse to accept my words at face value. I have made myself very clear.


Denali's Mom said...

Have fun with hand walking. I get bored out of my skull!! We've started doing the dressage patterns in hand (walking of course) so I can remember them and maybe it will become ingrained in Denali's head.

We've been on stall rest since April and it is a long, LONG haul!! Best of luck to your boy and to you! They are amazing creatures and although my horse somehow tore the ligament from the bone, she remained sound, stunning the vets and surgeons. That's my girl!

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