Presto’s brain seems to have rebooted since the first post-castration update last week. He’s back to acting like his normal self, ie a menace, pest, and master of sideeye.
I think it helped that by Wednesday his sheath was quite swollen, which took him down a few notches, and he spent Wednesday and Thursday feeling a little sorry for himself. Poor kid’s sheath looked like two big ol’ stallion balls, temporarily earning him the nickname of Ol’ SaggyNuts. I had to enlist the barn worker’s and Hillary’s help so he could get lunged and cold hosed twice a day instead of just once, which seemed to do the trick. They started going down quite a bit on Friday, and by yesterday there was only a little bit of swelling left in the sheath.
Knocking on lots of wood of course, but hopefully this means we’re on the back side of all this. He’s healed well, the swelling is almost gone, and this weekend his personality returned back to normal. I am starting to breathe a little bit easier again, at least as easy as I ever do. Before we even started all this I was a concerned about a lot of things, but especially the swelling. Presto’s dam would always puff up like a damn balloon if you so much as looked at her sideways – she swelled a lot, and took forever to go down. Presto has injured himself significantly less than she did (guess that whole spent-the-first-month-trying-to-die-every-day thing maybe bought us some credit there?) so I wasn’t sure if he would take after her or not in that regard. I had visions of a watermelon-sized sheath or something. Because that’s how my brain works.
Aside from feeling a bit sorry for himself on the two most swollen days, he’s seemed none the worse for wear. I do think he’s ready for me to stop cold-hosing his crotch all the time, but he’s been surprisingly good about it. I spent all last summer hosing that horse every day, but he’s never particularly liked being hosed on his hind end. Aside from raising his feet every time the water hits his legs at first, he’s stood remarkably well for all of this, and he hasn’t gotten mad. He still comes up to meet me at the gate every afternoon, even knowing that I’m gonna go take him to lunge for 10 minutes and then squirt him in the weiner with cold hose water.
If anything, he’s seemed to enjoy the extra attention. Which is just… weird, considering what the attention entails. Since we had to lunge a little every day, I took the opportunity to sharpen his voice commands, and make the transitions happen quicker and more often. It kept his brain engaged, and I figured it was good to reaffirm all that stuff even more right now, before we start picking up ground driving again in the spring. We made the circles bigger, and smaller, and worked on a little bit of “leg yield” at the walk. The best thing, though, is that I noticed that his lips jiggle when he trots.
It’s hard to see on the video, because it’s difficult to lunge a baby horse and video at the same time, but once I noticed the jiggly lips, I was highly amused. His nickname went from Ol’ SaggyNuts to Sir FloppyLips. Clearly he’s real worried about his life, y’all. Between the ears and lips he is really entertaining.
I also sticked him again, because he is getting awfully close to the point where I’ll no longer be able to see over his withers. I was worried that he’d hit 16h already, but no – 15.3 1/2. If he could hold off on 16h until after he turns 2, that would be great. I ain’t about that giant life. I’m in major denial that he’s going to be over 16.2h and I’d like to keep that daydream alive for a while longer, thanks.
Yesterday he felt good enough to chase his donkeys around and turn the manure bucket over when the barn worker’s back was turned, so I think it’s safe to say that things are pretty much back to normal.