Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Voodoo Pony Doll

I went out to see my boy last night.  His front, left abscess that broke out the back of his coronary band healed nicely.  He spent 5 days on antibiotics and getting his foot soaked once a day for 20 minutes a day.  This was my first time soaking his foot and as is Gavin's nature, he didn't care.  I adore that attitude in him :)

Just chilling with mah hoof in a bucket
I went out last night ready to have a light ride - lots of walk, maybe a lap of trot if he felt okay.  Immediately I noticed he was walking with a stiff gait, and upon further inspection I noticed his hindleg was now completely stocked up.  UGHHHHH!  I felt around, but couldn't feel or see anything obvious.  Having nothing better to do, I thought standing him in the arena while I videotaped my friend was a good idea (video to post shortly).  I hand-walked him for a couple minutes and then looked at his back leg and *currently* attached hoof (who knows, at this point I'm wondering if they're all just going to fall off).  It was oozing puss out of little openings again on the back of his coronary band. 

I called my vet - thinking that it might be the virus that must not be named in Colorado (VS).  He laughed and said that it was likely another abscess and to do exactly what I did with the last one.

I feel bad for Gav, and I'm frustrated (aka having a pity party).  I don't know why my boy, who's never had this type of problem, is all of a sudden having issue after issue with his hooves.  :(  If anyone has experience with this type of thing, please chime in!  I'd love to hear any advice, or words of wisdom.

I'm starting to think that someone has a voodoo pony doll of Gavin and they keep sticking him in the foot.  And those people need to leave him alone *imagine Chris Crocker "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!!"*

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

You're Soooo Lame (I bet you think this song is about you)…

So - no secret here.  Gavin is once again lame.  I've never had this problem with him before.  NEVER. It's depressing, confusing, and worrisome.

I went out on Sunday and his front left leg from the knee down was puffed up like the state marshmallow man - just totally stocked up.  He seemed totally sound on it so I figured a little exercise might help his circulation/stocked-up-edness (totally a word).

Gavin - cankeling it up

We tacked up and went to the indoor.  At the walk he was a good boy.  Lots of me asking him to march forward, then stops (squeeze my fingers, brace my back, clench my thighs - sounds sorta sexy…), backing 4 steps, and back to forward.  He seemed totally fine and happy to move, so I asked for a trot.  He took two steps of trot.  It was like I was on a three-legged horse; I thought he was going to fall over.  I hopped off and palpated his whole leg.  He winced every time I put any pressure on his upper, inside/front cannon bone.  I lunged him at the walk for a little while before putting him up.

I immediately put in a call to my vet, and he'll be meeting me out at the barn tomorrow afternoon.

I did go see Gav today, and though he's still really stocked up, the swelling did go down after about 35 minutes of walking.  He also seemed less sensitive to me groping around on his leg.  I'm wondering if he got kicked?  I suppose I'll find out more tomorrow when the vet comes out.  Wish me luck.

I keep meaning to write a blog about George Morris.  I'm reading his book Hunter Seat Equitation.  He's put me in my place a couple times, but he's also reinforced ideas I've had that I've never voiced aloud.  It's been a really good read so far, and I'm looking forward to learning more.  Every time I go out to see my friend she asks what George has taught me now.  :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sad day

I just want to say that my heart goes out to Jodi at Racing to Ride for losing her horse Beefheart. It makes my heart heavy to see any of my fellow horse-lovers lose one of their ponies.

For equestrians a horse isn't just an animal, a pet, or a pastime… our horses are our partners, our pride, and our joy.  And to lose one is an awful thing.  <3

Monday, October 6, 2014

Skunk Tail McPonyson Rides Off Into the Sunset

First off - let me say congrats to L for getting to 1000 posts!  It's like I'm looking up at a freaking blog giant!  Not only does she post consistently, but her posts are consistently good and filled with pictures of coffee (that make me spend too much money!).  Check out her blog!

Last February, I told the tale of Mullet Skunk Tail McPonyson.  A pony with a tail so abysmal that when he went around trainers would shake their heads, women would snicker quietly to themselves, and children would scream in horror.  It was such an atrocious mullet that I was actually asked if I bushed it out on purpose.  Haha - yes you dizzy bitch, I cut my horse's tail to look this terrible.

Well.  I've been doing what I said in my post about Mullet Skunk Tail.  Basically, nothing.  I tried not to brush it, or anger it in anyway (I think of that tail as its own living, breathing organism).  A gentle dandy-brushing at the base was all it got.  During the summer I'd wash it about every five weeks, and at that time I'd brush it out.  Throughout the seasons (winter, spring, and summer) it has been covered by some sort of sheet (winter blanket, spring sheet, fly sheet).  Yes, my horse has a lot of clothes, but he has terrible allergies, which is why he rubbed his tail out in the first place.  He needs to be shielded from all of the elements he's allergic to (everything).

I'm proud to say - it's looking pretty damn good!  Here are some before and afters.  This is from February to about a week ago.  Mind you, it wasn't even at it's worst in February.  It just happens to be when I got documentation of the bush.

February - Rear view

February, side view

October, Rear View

October, Side View
 It's still got quite a bit of growing out to do, to look anything like his brothers and sisters, but I know we can do it!  Especially with winter coming up, and thus the end of his allergy season!  :)

Skunk Tail McPonyson has been replaced by DappleButt O'TreatLover

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I Don't Needs It, But I Wants It

A few weeks back my fiancĂ©'s grandma asked us to make a Christmas list.  We went through this last year (I asked for riding socks, gift cards to Dover, and weights).  I wound up with socks, and a gift card to dover.  I was on my own as far as the weights were concerned, since apparently I should just be using various sized soup cans for that.  ;)  Anyways - the thought burrowed into my brain, and I decided it would be a smart idea *eyes rolling* for me to create a wish list at Smartpak.  Mind you - most of these things wouldn't be for anyone to buy me, but more things for me to buy myself (I don't expect anyone to subsidize my ridiculous horsey spending habits, but if they want to buy me some new socks - AWESOME!).

Anyways, I have quite a few things on the list now, but I figured I'd share my top 5, just for funsies  :)

1.  Smartpak Boot Bag-Navy w/ silver trim and white piping.  Rings in at a reasonable $59.95 (until you consider the fact that it's a bag to hold your boots).  This I sort of need, as my boots just linger in our guest room (which also happens to be where I store my clothes).  It'd be nice for my boots to have a home.  A home lined with fleece to keep the dust bunnies away.  :)  Also - it comes monogrammed!  All I'd have to worry about was to have my initials "EMD" or "EMS" for when I change my name (and oh yes, I'll be changing my name).  

 2.  The Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Aurigan Eggbut Style Bit - yikes, what a mouthful!  Pun not intended.  ;)  This beauty comes in at a whopping $163.95, but according to 45 reviewers on Smartpak it's worth every penny.  What do I like about it?  I like the salivation-inducing aurigan material.  I want Gavin to chew more, and with that, I want more drool.  It's weird that horse people obsess about the drool, but I wants it!  I like the idea of a D-ring, or an eggbut.  I've been in a loose ring snaffle for as long as I can remember (currently in a loose-ring french link).  They've served me alright, and yes, I have heard the saying "if it's not broke don't fix it", but from what I've read D-rings (or eggbuts) tend to be steadier in the horse's mouth, not pinch the corners, and give a little more steering control.  All of these things combined sound like a good thing for Gav.  Steady bit that makes him drool like a pavlovian dog that won't pinch him and makes him more movable?  Sign me up!

3.  Socks!  Because I need more horsey socks!  These socks are on Smartpaks website for $15.95 and you get two pairs.  Typically horsey socks are over 12 bucks for one pair.  This is like two for the price of one.  Woohoo!

4.  Lister Star Clippers for a meager $269.95 (chhhyyaaa-right).  Last year was the first year I clipped Gav for the winter.  It was just a trace clip, but I was soooo glad I did it.  My only regret was that I wish I had clipped more of him.  I hate.  Let me emphasize HATE cooling out a horse for an hour after you ride.  And I'm pretty freaking sure they don't care for it either.  Nothing would be worse than washing my hair and running around in the 20 degree February night, which is what I imagine it must feel like to Gavin to be covered in sweat.  Not only that, but the sweat just sits there in all that fur.  Sure, some of it gets curried out, but some of it has got to stick - and that has got to itch.  I will be trace clipping Gavin again, but this time with more gusto (higher up on the neck and body).  My clippers did the job last year, but it'd be nice for it to not take 4 hours.  These got good reviews.  I would've gone with the Oster, but people talk about how they're made for large hands.  I have the hands of a fat, stubby child - so that wouldn't work well for me.

  5.  The Tipperary Eventer Vest in navy.  Breaking the bank at $259.95.  People are probably laughing under their breath right now looking at this.  Mostly because I've never jumped in my life, not counting cross-rails.  I'm a chicken, and I'll admit it.  But I also want to jump Gavin!  And to do that, I know that I need to set myself up for success.  Part of that success is feeling confident and secure, and thus enters this vest.  I think it would help me feel prepared, and may also help me if and when I do fall.  

So yeh… grandma, grandpa - if you could hook me up with this ridiculously expensive Christmas list, I'd be ever so grateful.  Otherwise, I'll just be buying the socks - and looking at pictures of everything else while fantasizing about a nicely clipped, drooling horse, jumping (safely) over a log with his rider wearing sparkling clean boots.  :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

CPEAP Educational Contest

Nicole over at Equinpilot, and fellow cob lover has a contest running.  It's to help us all get more educated on the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs.  A therapy program to help injured soldiers and veterans gain balance, more mobility with prosthetics, and help them with their mental health and emotional well-being.  I think this is a wonderful program as I believe being around horses and interacting with them can be calming, uplifting, and help build confidence.  :)

1. When was the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs started?

May, 2006

2. What are at least 3 benefits of equine assisted therapy?

  • Increases self-confidence
  • Improves mental and emotional outlook 
  • Provides a sense of well-being and accomplishment

3. Students complete _____ ______ twice each lesson which helps record the therapeutic effects.

I had a hard time finding this answer (which means I wound up reading through their entire website).  I still couldn't find it, so I'm going with blood pressure (as they do mention that several times).

4. This picture shows an important facet of the program. What is it? 

The picture shows soldiers helping soldiers.

Bonus (answer not found on the website, must think about it)
Recently arena letters were purchased for the program. Why did fence letters work better than letters on cones? 

Letters on the fences would be easier to see than on cones (where you'd have to drop your vision and possibly your head to see them).

I highly suggest everyone go over and check out this great cause!