In which Gene Autry sings my new theme song, and the sun shines on our trails

Spay Day + 17, and I'm back in the saddle again!
Incision isn't very obvious anymore
Our ride wasn't fast, or far, or strenuous.  Patty's young horse Rocky led the way, and Fiddle and I took the caboose position most of the day.  
Rocky leads the group past a stickley branch.  NBD.
Rocky is still learning how to work his feet, so we kept the pace slow and relaxed...a perfect back-to-work ride for Fiddle.  About 9 miles in a little more than 2 hours.  Given Fee's level of fitness before the surgery, this ride was easy, which is what we wanted.

When we got to "Fiddle's Hill", she took the lead, but rather than jetting up it as we usually do, we trotted up at a nice, easy 7mph jog.
blue sky above and ears at the bottom of the picture = happiness
 Here's how the surgery has changed (or not changed) Fiddle's behavior so far, on a scale of 1 to 5:

Eagerness to work under saddle:
*  when in season:   -1  (can't move, must stand and pee)
*  on Regumate:  5  (get out of the way, trotting machine coming through!)
*  post-spay:  5   (happy ears when leading the pack)

Showing discomfort while working:
*  when in season:  5 (obviously uncomfortable and unwilling to move) 
*  on Regumate:  1  (no observable discomfort)
*  post-spay:  1  (no observable discomfort)

Behavior in groups of horses:
*  when in season:  4/1   (really friendly until suddenly she is NOT friendly at all)
*  on Regumate:  3   (doesn't enjoy being in a group, but can handle herself mostly)
*  post-spay:  3   (still doesn't enjoy being in a group)

"marish" behaviors:
*  when in season:  5   (pees on the farrier, the dog, and anyone else dumb enough to get within a mile of her backside, squealing, stomping, lots of tantrums)
*  on Regumate:  3  (can pee seductively at an 8mph trot, tantrums probably related to discomfort)
*  post-spay:  1  (no inappropriate urination or flirting.  no far...)

 Willingness to move out solo:
*  when in season:  1  (Can't. Move. Must. Pee.)
*  on Regumate:  5
*  post-spay:  5

Willingness to EDPP (Eat-Drink-Pee-Poop)
*  when in season:  4  (sometimes distracted by other horses)
*  on Regumate:  5  ("FOOOOOOOOD!")
*  post-spay:  5  ("FOOOOOOOOD!")

post-ride bath at the trailer
Spirit, animation, gumption, and general stubbornness
*  when in season:  5
*  on Regumate:  5
*  post-spay:  5   (STB stands for stubborn!)

The major change I see so far is Fiddle's level of comfort while moving and working.  She is at least as comfortable as she was while being dosed with Regumate, and shows no marish behaviors.

She hasn't lost an ounce of "gumption", as stallions are wont to do when subjected to brain surgery.  She will still happily stomp any dog dumb enough to get under her feet, and will probably kick the face off of any horse foolish enough to crowd her rear cannons.    She doesn't blindly obey me if she thinks that I'm wrong (or if she thinks she can convince me that I'm wrong).

She is, in other words, still a Dragon.  

The hormones aren't completely dissipated yet, of course, and there's still healing going on internally.  
Left side incision site, Spay Day + 17
Right side incision site, Spay Day + 17
My hope is that, with the hormone problem out of the way, her training can move forward again, and we can get out of the "stuck" pattern we've been experiencing.  

Her task, for now, is to heal up and gradually get back into shape for endurance.  If today is an indication, the trails ahead are bright and full of promise. 
Good Dragon!

Life. Is. GOOD!


  1. Glad you had a lovely ride and Fiddle is doing well. In my experience of geldings, gelding a mature stallion will not produce immediate major change. Its more like gradual change. I have no idea what the prognosis is in mares who are spayed, but if she's as good as she is while on Regumate, isn't that a big improvement? Or are you looking/hoping for more?

  2. So glad she's more comfortable! And man, those incisions are healing up wonderfully. YAY!

  3. Woohoo! So glad to hear she's recovering nicely and that the surgery is (so far) producing positive results. :0)

  4. Sounds really Great Aarene! As you said, it will still take a while for all those hormone's to go - then - as when when you geld a stallion "late" - there will still be "learned" behavior patterns - but hopefully they'll now be easier to unlearn! :-)

  5. Lookin' GOOD!
    Considering she's only been out of training about 3 weeks (if you count the starvation regimen, and I'm sure she does), it doesn't seem like it should take too long to get her back in pre-surgery shape...AND better than average temperament. And I agree with previous posters: it will take a while for hormone levels to subside, and a while longer for learned behaviors to become unnecessary.

    At any rate, the Dragon is BACK!

  6. Yeah! Back in the saddle again:)

  7. Great to hear that you are back in the saddle with her! Sounds like the recovery is going very well!

  8. Wow, she looks really good. The surgery seemed pretty invasive, but Dragon don't care, Dragon is back! (But not so Dragony all the time hopefully). Being so fit to start with I'm sure helped. It will be interesting as you chart her behavior progress. Yeah!

  9. Good to see you back in the saddle with her. Saw the first photo pop up on my reader and got very excited!

  10. Hudson says he appreciates a good dragon, and would be extremely polite near her "cannon bones". Hooray! If it's as good as Regumate now, while she's still doing some healing, it's going to be even better when she's completely healed, IMO!


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