Catalissa has been one of the most serious rehab cases we’ve had at LOPE. In his last race, he fractured his sesamoid on his right front. Catalissa didn’t like to put pressure on the injured leg — instead, he kept shifting his weight to his other legs. He then developed laminitis in his left front.
It was a potentially dangerous situation — Catalissa had to be kept in stall rest, to limit his movements. And we took extra steps to keep him comfortable: his stall actually has a cushioned stall “mattress,” (provided to LOPE with a generous discount from Lucas and Liebe) and we would often keep his front hooves in Softride comfort boots.
After months, Catalissa was then was approved to be in a small pen, only about twice the size of his stall. Slowly, his laminitis receded and his sesamoid fracture stabilized. However, his left front still had a very thin sole, leaving it susceptible to possible abscess and inflammation. So Catalissa had to stay confined in his small pen for week after week, as we waited for his sole to thicken.
Catalissa never once showed resentment or frustration, even during the most painful phase of his rehab. He was always cheerful and calm, making us all into his fans. The other horses also like Catalissa, often crowding around his stall’s dutch door to “talk” with him. We like to joke that Catalissa secretly has a tacqueria stand and that’s why the horses always hang out with him — they’re placing orders.
Last week, Austin Equine Associates X-rayed Catalissa’s hoof. The news was good! His sole had grown out substantially — and he was approved for a much larger turnout area. Two of our favorite volunteers, Melinda and Tom, came out Saturday and helped us expand Catalissa’s space. We tripled the size of his turnout pen and attached it to the barn — Catalissa can now go out of his stall directly into his deluxe-sized turnout. It’s quite the bachelor pad — the other horses (especially Pogo) seem a little envious.
It was a big weekend for Catalissa — he seemed so happy, as he walked around his big pen then in and out of his stall. At feeding time, he nearly trotted to his bucket — after months of tight quarters, his muscles are finally able to stretch and move more.