Once the horses stopped showing symptoms of EI, and were back to their normal sparky behaviour, especially at feedtime, I thought it was time to tentatively put some less important ones back in work. Six young emus who had got lost and made a surprise visit from next door neighbour John Singleton's place helped me to confirm the horses' health. When they (the emus) laid eyes on me when I was doing the morning feed run, they instantly claimed me as their mother, and I was followed through the paddock, over the arena and into the stable building, the poor little guys just wanting to find someone to direct them home, and were totally oblivious to the horses that were thundering around with their tails in the air! Poor Irish was still looking for emus two days later! I quickly phoned Strawberry Hill to ask if they could please come and reclaim their emus before all my horses jumped out of their paddocks!
So the next day, NIKE, my first ERROL child, and STRUTTS, a young thoroughbred off the track, were dragged back into work. Well, the idea was, a bit of gentle walking then some slow trotting. Uh,uh. These guys both needed to go on the lunge for 10 minutes before I could get on either of them, both having been out of work for about three months! So they were treated like normal horses back into work, with 15 to 20 minutes of trotting and cantering, and so far, so good. On Day 4 both are still working great, and feeling like maybe I could take them out of the arena and into the grass field without them trying to pitch me, I think! I had spoken to my vet to ask advice about when and how horses should be worked, and he said he was really taking his lead from the riders and trainers. He was up yesterday on other matters, and I got him to take blood from the two Noblewood Park horses, BLATINI and CASSINI'S GIRL, to make doubly sure that they will be okay to work again, and also plan to get RICCI and KOKO back into work after farrier Sandy Parker visits again on Friday, all being well.
I am very concerned about all the 'horror stories' and amazingly extensive, expensive 'advice' that is out there, especially on the Internet! Horse people need to realize that common sense is your best guide, and where possible, horses that have been sick, or not yet affected, need to be kept outdoors as much as possible, not put in a potentially dusty stable, but are in a situation where they can get their heads down, and ideally, access to grazing. Nothing like 'Dr Green' to help horses get better! Remember, it is a flu, and the main reason horses have long term effects is because they may get secondary lung infections mainly from dusty environments, or not being able to get their heads down. Client Karine Gouriou is also starting to work her 12 year old thoroughbred, COIN, again, even though he was probably as sick as any of mine, and he seems to be fine also, so Lee Warneke is also starting on her two, PUZZLE and TRENT.
We'll keep you posted!