Saturday, September 28, 2019

Blue’s Foot

The month of September is winding down and we’re hopefully going to start getting some autumn like temps.  The trees are just starting to turn and the days seem to be getting a bit shorter.  I’m looking forward to more riding with no bugs and a lot less sweating!

It seems every September Blue develops an abscess in his right hoof.  When he was barely hobbling around on three legs I called the vet to come out and have a look at him.  She pulled his shoe and used the hoof testers and confirmed ,yet again, it was an abscess.  She also took a Cushing's blood test on him, he’s now 22 yrs. old, and that came back negative and within range for this time of year.  So that was a good outcome.  In the meantime I had to soak his foot everyday for a few hours and then I put an animalintex on it and vet-wrapped it and then put a boot on him.  He stayed in or wandered around close to the barn while I was mucking stalls and doing the barn chores.  This lasted for three days until he was feeling good enough to trot the fence and call for the rest of the herd that had deserted him.  I finally just let him out with them. He’d do a lot less damage to himself if he just stood around grazing with the herd than making himself crazy trotting and calling them. It all worked out fine, he knew enough to take it easy.  Blue is a bit of a drama queen when he’s injured so I’m sure once he reached the herd he told them just how miserable he was feeling and berated them for flat- leaving him in his hour of need.

The vet showed me a good trick for soaking his foot.  Most of you probably know about this but in case you don’t here goes:  You use an old IV bag (the vet gave me a few)  put cotton in the bottom, then warm water about half way full, then Epsom Salt and Betadine. Shake it up, put the hoof in long ways and pleat/fold it over in the back then tape it up with some very sticky vet tape.  Leave the hoof soak for a few hours and remove it.  Then animalintex, vet wrap and a boot.  It works wonders in a few days. I also had to stop giving him his Equiox until the abscess blew out because that or Bute would slow down the healing process.  Here are some pictures of the hoof soaking:

This worked really well

I’m happy to report that Blue is doing well now and is still wearing his boot and keeping it on (mostly) until the farrier comes in a few weeks.  His heels are a bit sore but the boot comes off at night to let him air out a bit.  So hopefully, there won’t be any more abscesses until his next yearly September one.

Quote for Today

Give a horse what he needs and he will give you his heart in return.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Summer’s End

Blue & Rosie
As the summer draws to an end, thought I’d do a quick update.  This summer was brutally hot and humid and we didn’t get much work done with the horses.  It was too hot to work them and they were as miserable as we were.  I did get in a few rides on Rosie and Blue very early in the morning around 6:30, before the barn had to be cleaned.

Rosie has had a few hacks around the farm under saddle.  She’s a good girl, not really spooky at all.  When she does come upon something she’s not quite sure of, she simply plants her feet and refuses to move until she figures out that the gremlins won’t attack her.  A few gentle squeezes and she sighs and moves on.  After my horse Erik, I’ll take it!  Anything is better than a spin and bolt.

She’s really improving in her gaits, too.  Her trot is lovely when she brings her front end up and tracks up with her rear foot into her front footprints.  I didn’t know she had it in her, but I’m pleased she does.  Her canter isn’t bad, but it is still off-balance and her legs sort of do that egg-beater thing as she canters around.  We’re working on it and she’s coming along.  We found out that she’s a superstar at free longeing, too.  One piece at a time and plenty of time to get there because we’re in no hurry and want to take it slow with her.

Rosie -Free Longeing
Rosie was drawing a crowd of admirers
"Keep your head down Grady or we're next!"

Blue continues to be …well, Blue.  Instead of riding him, we thought we’d give him a break and longe him one day.  Well, Blue walked around twice, took himself into a trot once around, then took himself into a canter for once around and stopped and walked over to get his pets and basically say “I’m done!” When he was unhooked from the longe he took himself into the barn and stood by the tack room door.  He knows after work everyone gets a carrot and stud muffin with a peppermint.  You just can’t argue with an opinionated horse that’s smarter than you!

Blue after a grueling ten minutes of self - longeing
Grady " Um, you know you're drinking from the wrong side of the fence right?"

" So what's your point"

Quote for Today
It is difficult to explain ones love for horses, it cannot be explained, it is simply felt!

Friday, May 24, 2019


It’s probably about time I did a review on the grazing muzzles we purchased and have been using for some of the chubbier herd members.  The grazing muzzle we thought would work the best is Harmany Muzzle.

Here is part of the ad for Harmany Muzzles:

"The Harmany Muzzle is designed to be open and airy, allowing better ventilation for the horse while still slowing his forage intake. Instead of nylon webbing which can absorb moisture and then mold or mildew, the Harmany muzzle is a medical-grade plastic containing kevlar fibers: the plastic will not splinter or snap to produce sharp edges (though horses can eventually chew through it like a conventional muzzle — Dr. Harman is looking into solutions for that problem.) At the end of the day, the entire muzzle can be hosed down or washed with soap and water and easily dried: no more worries about your horse breathing in mold!”  

Here are some pictures of Blue & Sami with their muzzles when they were new a while ago:                                                                                                  

They don’t wear them everyday just mostly in the Spring or when it looks like a few less calories might be needed. Even though they are lighter and airier than the traditional nylon and rubber bucket-like muzzles, personally, I don’t think they work as well. 

We adjusted them correctly for each horse and they seem to be able to get out of them relatively easily.  A few weeks ago Blue came in and was sporting it underneath his chin, modeling the latest fashion in "muzzle wear." He somehow got it down so he could get his full share of the grass.  Rosie came in one day with it wedged between her upper lip and gums.  That was painful looking and interesting extricating her from it. Good thing she’s a calm mare and let me help her. Now for Sami, he rarely gets himself in trouble and is basically a gentle guy but he managed to come in with a broken muzzle too.

Now for the pictures:

I didn’t get one of Rosie because my first thought was to help her get this mess out of her mouth.

Sami’s I just hung on the door after getting it off him:

The one side completely cracked off this muzzle leaving sharp edges which I wasn't thrilled about.

However, I did get a few pictures of Blue as he was standing in the paddock shortly after I turned him out and giving me a look as if to say “ Do you see this piece of crap and what are you going to do about it!” 

" I can't believe this happened, it was my favorite!"

" Mr. Innocent"

Kevlar my A$$! It might stop a bullet but Blue is going to need something a lot tougher!
To be fair while I was lunging Rosie in the top ring I did spy him grinding it on the huge salt block we have in the paddock. I'll give it a slight benefit of the doubt maybe that might account for the breakage.  If he didn’t grind it on the block he would have figured something else out.  I have no idea how Sami's broke but I know he wasn't abusing it.  The point is that I don’t think they’re very sturdy and they're not cheap in price either. 

So for now it’s back to the bucket muzzles as I call them. Rosie looks thrilled doesn’t she.  We have to convince Sami every morning that it's a good idea to get his on. He doesn't agree but luckily his good buddy Hanz helps him take it off once in a while by pulling at the velcro fasteners and leaving it in the fields for the muzzle and fly mask search parties…

Quote for Today
Because of you, I laugh a little harder, cry a little less and smile a little more.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Rosie Update

' Rosie '

The vet was here Friday morning for the last round of vaccinations and I got the final test results for Rosie on her PSSM blood test.  It was negative.  So that’s 2 negatives after the first one was positive.  He said it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have it, he’s still suspicious that she might have it because of the first test.  The only way to be totally sure is to do a muscle biopsy, which I’m not going to do.  He suggested the best thing to do is to keep her on the PSSM diet and exercise regimen she’s on. So that’s what I’m going to do and see how it goes. 

Personally, I think her first test came back positive because of her Lyme’s.  I think it could have affected the test.  She’s almost done with her doses of doxycycline and I’ll see how she seems when she’s totally finished with the medication.  I’ve been longeing her lightly almost every day, just some easy walk and trot for a few minutes before she goes out.  Our herd goes out all day from around 7 a.m.-7p.m. or later some nights.  They travel back and forth from the front to back fields which cover around 30 acres up and down hills so she’s getting plenty of exercise during the day. She’s also sporting a grazing muzzle to cut down on her consumption of grass, which she resents when I put it on her in the morning.  Like I used to hate it when my mother told me “ It’s for your own good” I’m sure she doesn’t care one bit when I tell her the same thing.

Quote for Today

Love means attention, which means looking after the things we love. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

April Update

We’ve been very busy the past few months and I haven’t had the time or inclination to post.  Before I disappear completely from blog land I thought it was time to try and get back on track. So here goes.

All the horses have been getting their Spring vaccinations and since we do them in increments every two weeks we have one more round at the end of the month.  While the vet was here, I had them take a Lyme test on Rosie, Hanz, and Grady.  Rosie and Hanz came back positive and Grady was negative.  They’re on doxycycline for a month.  Hopefully, this will make Rosie not feel so reactive and touchy.  Rosie started to not want to be mounted and would start swinging her butt away from the mounting block whenever I put my foot in the stirrup.  So, after checking saddle fit and other guides to see if she was in pain, I thought it a good idea to have her checked. 
While here, the vet wanted to see her on the longe.  He also decided to take a test for PSSM.  She seemed very tight in her back end and slightly muscle bound.  We always attributed that to her previous training.  We’ve been working on having her lengthen her stride by longeing and she is tracking up much better than when we first got her.

The PSSM test also came back positive.  This all went on during her first round of vaccinations.  I should mention that Rosie doesn’t like her shots and reacts badly when anyone other than my daughter or myself goes into her stall.  I’m sure it must be from past experiences and she’s very suspicious of strangers.  Then again, who wouldn’t get a tad nervous if a strange man barged into our bedroom with a needle?

Long story short, the next round of vaccinations the vet took another PSSM test because this time she was more relaxed and not having a melt down.  This time, the PSSM test came back negative.  So, just to be on the safe side he had me longe Rosie the night before and the morning he was due to come back and do the next round of vaccinations to see if the condition might be exercise induced.  He took another PSSM test Thursday and I will find out the results in a few days.  Fingers crossed it’s negative again and she doesn’t have it.  If she does, it’s manageable with diet and exercise.  So, that’s what’s been going on with the horses.

Quote for Today
Horses can't talk, but they can speak if you listen.

" Happy Easter"

All I Needed to Learn about Life I learned from the
' Easter (Bunny )Horse'!


Don’t put all your grain in one bucket.

Walk softly and carry a big carrot.
There is no such thing as too many treats.

All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.

Some body parts should be floppy.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hair/hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like apples on trees.
Keep our hooves off others treats.

Good things come in small packages.
The grass is always greener in someone else' s paddock.
An Easter bonnet can cover the wildest mane.
To show your true colors you have to come out of the stall.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey... molasses flavored stud muffins.
' Happy Easter '

Friday, February 1, 2019

Quick Update

Rosie & Blue on one of the warmer days without blankets
It’s February 1st and there’s not a whole lot happening at the farm with the horses.  They continue to have lots of warm mashes because of the cold weather we’ve been having and basically hanging around the hay baskets chowing down all day. We haven't been riding or working them at all, it's just too cold.  The indoor feels like walking into a meat locker!

"Ginger" in her favorite spot at the end of the day

Ginger had four seizures within 24 hours at the end of January.  She seems to have them every 28-30 days.  Her vet suggested I take her to a neurologist. Yes, there are actually doggie neurologists. I was surprised too. After her evaluation he prescribed an additional medication. So it will be wait and see how she does this month.  Fingers crossed she won’t have any more.
"Big Red" staring me down through the window

His friends watching the show.

I don’t know if you remember back to December but the cardinal that has been tapping my windows is still here.  He’s actually tapping the window now and it’s very annoying.  Seems every time I turn my chair back to the desk he flies into the window and gives it a tap with his beak.  There is plenty of food outside and he knows where it is.  I don’t know if he wants to come in or what his agenda is.  He’s even brought some friends with him on occasion. Or maybe they’re just watching the show he puts on or are waiting for someone to come with a net. Personally, I think he might be a little bit “special”.

Our weather has been beyond ridiculous.  Temperatures below freezing, an ice storm, swirling snow squalls with very windy conditions and a few inches of snow once in a while.  I feel sorry for the folks in the parts of the country that are experiencing dangerously cold temperatures.  We have family and friends in Chicago and they say it is brutal. 

Got this in an email today...A sign from God?

Stay safe and warm. 

Quote for Today 
 No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland
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No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland
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No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland
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