Baldur with a fresh rider

So, last weekend Anneli came to Hamar to visit me and Maja. We ended up going on a little trip to Sweden, going out to a restaurant to eat pizza, and then Anneli got to try out Baldur a couple of times! 

According to Anneli, Baldur is pretty much the opposite of her Icelandic Horse Kári, and it was a new experience for her. It was also good for me to see him with another rider and how he reacts to Anneli. It’s also a great way for me to see him being worked, without seeing him from above.

Anneli was really excited about trying out my Geysir Gold Plus saddle as well, as she is interested in buying it. I think I can say that she was very happy with it, and she liked it very much! So I don’t think it will be long until she gets one of her own, haha!

I think Baldur and Anneli were a great match! Some confusion in the start, since Baldur isn’t like what she is used to. If he understands what you ask, he is not hard to ask at all. But if there is confusion, he will clearly notify that he does not understand.

So I learned that Baldur indeed is a little bit tricky to ride in before you really get to know his riding “style”. I do also enjoy having a tricky horse, so when I actually have progress with him, it isn’t taken as lightly, if I can say it that way.

Anyways! It was fun to watch Baldur being worked by Anneli and how he responded to her. The weather was great, and the mood for the day. It was also fun for me to photograph my own horse in action and capturing the moments.

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Photo above: I absolutely love the light in this photo. It is subtle, but strong. And the new snow makes everything better!

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Photo above: Moving those hindquarters like a champ!

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Photo above: At it again with the lights! 

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Photo above: I think both the horse and rider enjoyed themselves.

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Just our luck

I didn’t think we could get any more unlucky, but here we are. Baldur was a little lame yesterday, so I decided to give him over night to see if he would be better today. Surprise, surprise. He was so much worse this morning. He wouldn’t put any weight on his foot at all, and when he walked, it looked as if he would fall with every step. So I didn’t hesitate to call the veterinarian for an emergency appointment. 

I was literally so stressed out. Seeing how painful it was for him to move made me tear up, it was horrible. Thankfully the veterinarian came fast and checked him out. He was scored on the lameness scale to 4 out of 5 grades lame. She checked for broken bones, but it turned out it was all coming from one place – the hoof. The veterinarian pinched around the hoof and we found out he has something similar to a hoof abscess, but without the infection.

In other words, he has stepped on something hard and taken damage from it. Almost like when us human hit our finger with a hammer, and the finger gets blood under the nail. So we have to drain out the blood and put on a cover with a special kind of compress-like band-aid that will drain out the blood and relieve his hoof. He was given a strong dose of pain relief and to make him feel better faster, he also got some local anesthesia on both sides of his fetlock.

I am so thankful that it wasn’t as serious, this is actually a best-case-scenario. It could have been tendons, bone, or something else. So I am so relieved that it’s not something super bad. The veterinarian told me he should be better tomorrow, and that he will be healed in probably a week.

So this cover he has around his hoof will be changed every morning by me, and hopefully he will recover completely. It’s amazing how we have gone almost 3 years with Baldur being in tip-top shape, and all of the sudden everything crashes on us. First cancer, then this abscess, what’s next?

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Photo above: This is how I found him. He stood like this, not wanting to put his leg down at all.

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Photo above: You can so easily see it on his face that he is in so much pain. He usually has quite a relaxed face, so his expression here really pains me.

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Photo above: Putting on the cover. You can clearly see where the anesthesia was put, and he reacted very fast with putting his foot down and letting it take some weight.

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Photo above: His expression here is definitely more relaxed than before.

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Photo above: The finished work after the veterinarian left for the day. He is supposed to be shod in a couple days, but due to the abscess, we have to push it a week just to make sure his hoof is okay.

Progress in defeating cancer

So, on Wednesday(yes, this blog post is a little late), the veterinarian came back for a round three of Baldur’s chemo treatment. And I have to start off with saying that it is looking very good at this point!

After drugging him and letting him drop, his penis was washed. There is nothing infected or any puss, just dry and flaky skin. The veterinarian could actually just scrape off some of the cancerous Papillomas and they would just leave scar tissue. Very good! Not everything is gone yet though, the “elephant” skin further up is looking better, but it is still there. The skin is drying and flaking off, so the “elephant” skin will most likely be gone soon!

As for more treatments, Baldur got a stronger dose this day, just so that we are sure everything is being killed off. We have scheduled another appointment in two weeks time, and from then on we will see if he needs more treatment, or if the Papillomas are gone!

It may be too soon to tell, but my veterinarian assured me it is looking like it may be a cancer-free Christmas for us. And that is literally my only wish, for Baldur to come back to 100% health and cancer free.

Other than that, I am very busy trying to finish my exams, and it is taking a toll! My brain is probably working on over-load at this point. I do however have some exciting news to announce on this blog soon! I have already announced it on my Instagram, but not very much in depth. I feel and hope that 2018 will be with a fresh, healthy and happy start!

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Photo above: Baldur getting droopy. I love how gentle he is. Not tying him up for the vet is so practical.

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Photo above: Here you can see the very dry skin that is left after the last treatment. There have grown some new darker spots on the very tip of his penis(you can just see them under the veterinarians right hand).

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Photo above: The “elephant” skin is definitely looking better!

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Photo above: One spot that had a bit much cream from last treatment, that actually created a wound – but this is also good, now we know that Papilloma is 100% gone.

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Photo above: Baldur’s manhood after putting on the chemo cream. The veterinarian was very generous with the amount of cream this time, making the dose stronger.

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Photo above: Finally a photo when Baldur got his dose of Metacam(pain-relief). It’s always so fascinating to watch.

Throwback Tuesday #1

I thought I’d do a little series of throwbacks to show all of you our journey so far. I started writing this blog two years after my first meet with Baldur, so not many of you have seen us from day one. That’s why I think this will be something fun. Also for me, looking back at these old videos really do bring out good old memories.

As for the the first throwback Tuesday, why not start at the beginning? In fact, let’s start with the very first video I posted of Baldur. My best friend Isabelle was so kind to film one of our early trick training sessions. We were very fresh on each other, trying to learn communication. Baldur was so positive and willing to learn, he was(and still is) a joy to work with!

Also, do you notice his stunning, long mane and forelock? Absolutely gorgeous. NOT. This is how he looked when I started leasing him. No mane, small forelock and an eaten-up tail. As well as a thick coat of yellow fur. Such an eye-pleaser, am I right? He almost looks like an over-grown yearling, but he was actually 10 years old here.

Looking back at this, I start to miss the times when I actually worked him at liberty consistently. Since we didn’t understand each other, it was necessary for us to work like this from the ground.

This video is dated to January 28th of 2015, 16 days into leasing Baldur. It’s actually really weird how almost 3 years have past now! It almost feels like it was yesterday when I first laid my eyes on him. I am of course hoping that we will get many more years together.

 

Second round of treatments

The day has finally come for the second round of the chemo treatments. I was a bit nervous as to finding out how the treatment is working so far, and the veterinarian is still optimistic! The chemicals in the cream has burned little by little on the papillomas. Some of them have become smaller, and are not “sticking out” as much as before. It’s not much, but it is definitely progress!

As if it wasn’t stressful enough to have a cancerous horse, at least the bills are not one of my stress factors anymore. I am almost looking forward to getting the bills and being able to pay them instantly. The fund to pay for Baldur’s treatment bills has risen to $2,450 USD, it’s really insane! After paying the final bill and clearing Baldur of cancer, any remaining amount will go to Prince Fluffy Kareem and Kreftforeningen(Norway’s Cancer Society). So I am really excited about that too!

Our next treatment session will be in two weeks, and since Baldur handled the treatment so well, today’s treatment was with even more of the cream. So I am curious to how Baldur’s manhood will look like for the next treatment.

I can gladly say that Baldur has been acting like himself. But due to lack in motivation when it comes to training, he has become very stiff. But that is something we will have to work on!

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Photo above: Baldur getting more and more droopy from the drugs. Since he has been regularly drugged these past months, he is starting to handle them less and less. So today he was really sleepy.

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Photo above: Cleaning out! It’s starting to get easier and easier to clean him out, as the infection is leaving. So just that is a very good sign!

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Photo above: I couldn’t help myself to take this photo. Baldur never drops his lips, but today was the day he went all out. He dropped his top lip as well!

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Photo above: Putting on a more generous amount of cream this time. As he didn’t react bad to it at all. She is only putting cream on the papillomas, hence why she is only putting on dots.

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Ending this post with Baldur’s droopy and sleepy face. He is such a hero to me.