Thursday, November 6, 2008

Final Notes on Dandy's EPM

Part 1

I never did make it back to the US Arabian Nationals with Dandy. It's taken many years to finally get him to the place that he is competitive. By then I had to make other horse's my priority. Showing Dandy has had to wait.

In that regard I feel like I've let him down. Those people in the Arabian circuit have only seen the not quite finished horse. They have no idea what this horse has been through. Since they only measure success by ribbons, our lack of them at the regional and national level is all that counts. I know better..........for me the greatness of a horse is directly related to the size of his heart. You'll never find a horse with more heart than Dandy.

A note on Frank Lampley's treatment for EPM. At the time that Dandy was ill Lampley was being investigated by the FDA for his claims about his treatments. He was actually in Washington DC testifying at closed hearings when I called about his products. At that time he was under orders from the government not to say specifically that a product would cure EPM. Thankfully we were able to work around that by the office people telling me what Frank would use if the horse were his. To treat Dandy's EPM, I used basic mineral, white lightning and vitamix.

As for the second major influence after making the move to that barn, those pages are still being written. You see the owner of the facility was Angie. It is with her new husband, Richard, that my journey is travelling down a new and exciting road. I've started a new series MiKael Meets Richard You can bet there are many more posts to come. I hope to get started on them this week.

As a final note on the subject of Dandy's EPM and my life, I'd like to say years afterwards I was to learn that riding is not recommended for horses with EPM. It is considered to be stressful for the horse and part of the treatment is to avoid all stress.

I think the opposite was true with Dandy. Had I quit riding him when he was diagnosed I think the horse would have withered up and died. Riding time has always been his own personal time with me. He has looked forward to it. Thrived on it actually.

Even now with his first ever lame steps in his life, the horse screams at me when I load the horse trailer to school horses. He cannot stand that I am leaving him home. The horse loves to work and he loves people. Putting the two of them together makes him a happy horse.

To me Dandy has always been a remarkable horse. He tolerated me learning how to train a horse with more patience on his part than most horses even have.

The fact that he has beat EPM and managed to relearn using his body correctly to go back in the show ring and compete is a tribute to this horse's great heart. It was a long tough road and he never quit trying. No matter how scary or frustrating it got, the horse always gave me everything he had to give.

The horse still has problems with that right hip collapsing. Today I know that's really what it is doing. When the horse has had time off, it is the most noticeable. It also happens when he's being pushed beyond what he's learned. The deeper he gets underneath himself at the lope, the more likely his hip will collapse.

Not once has the horse fallen due to this. He always catches himself and goes on despite the fear in his eyes. That look tells me those stumbles are as scary for my horse as they are for me. But he still gives me everything he's got.

Normally once the horse builds up his strength, he ceases to fall. But experiencing that stumble always rings alarms bells for me. It means I need to watch him closely to determine why he is falling. Is it too much too soon, or the EPM coming back? I always must wonder. Then figure out what I can do that is best for my horse.

Lately there has been a lot of that stumbling. I think it's because he's been getting some time off. Hopefully it's nothing more than that and he'll be continuing his new career with his walk trot rider sometime soon. I know she can hardly wait for him to be ready to ride again.

Oh yes, and just for the record, Dandy does have one regional top five award in addition to his regional top ten in bonanza. It is in trail. It is also the one and only time I showed him at the regional level in trail.

The horse accomplished that pretty much on his own. I spent all of two weeks getting ready for those championships. That's hardly enough time for ME to get the distances down with my double vision. Showing under those conditions was a lot to ask, but Dandy came through. I'm hoping I will be able to actually spend a season doing trail with this horse, he is so good at it............not to mention how much he loves it.

This is one of my favorite pictures of Dandy. If this doesn't show his attitude, nothing does. Even at a few hours old he was pretty sure he was cool!

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  1. Yes,that is a cute picture of him. I love how Arabians can manage to be so full of themselves and yet so gentle.

  2. I absolutely adore that picture! He definitely knew he was something special from the start... even if no one else knew it yet!

  3. I think the horse is beautiful.

  4. I can see why you love this picture it is beautiful. Thanks for sharing your adventures with Dandy.

  5. I really like that picture, too, MiKael. I like that your mare is in the shot, touching her baby. She's not around any more, but she gave you this baby. This is her first baby. I believe horses do get to go to heaven and I believe that she is looking down on you and her baby. You've done so well taking care of her baby, MiKael!

    I hope his career continues with his newest lady rider. They are such a cute pair--BIG arabian horse and little tiny girl. I love it!

  6. It's a great story. Dandy is a special horse with a lot of heart like you say, you can see it in his picture even at a few hours old. I know this horse really tries for you because he loves you and he knows you love him. Good luck with his continuing improvement.

  7. This is Scandalous' first foal she gave Mikael, but Aidol is the first foal she ever gave birth to, when she was 6. And Scandalous was 9 when she gave birth to this colt, Dandy. And 15 when she she gave birth to Legs.