Friday, May 31, 2013

Happy Birthday Rosemary!!!

Our beautiful girl turns 6 years old today.

Yes that's me the beautiful one :)
Almost 3yrs ago a pale, knocked up version of her came into our lives. She fit right into our herd and began our journey into fields of the horse world where we had never been before. Pregnancy, birthing and a frisky foal later, she is no longer a pale version. Rosemary is full of life and opinions. She has established herself as the barn monitor and lets us know, loudly, when a horse is missing from the barn especially if it is her girl friend Dottie. At 14h she pushes around the 16h appie to protect her friend.
She keeps us on our toes with her theatrics, but life would be so dull with out her. Love this pony!

And to think we ended up with this pony because her breeder believed her to be lame and sold her as a broodmare. She is now trained to drive and is starting more work under saddle. For us it was the right time and the right pony.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Thank you everyone for your comments. Though I have not blogged long, I have found it a very good way to release and share emotions. Which in turn helps keep my stress level down.
And in the vein of support, please keep fingers crossed for Cuna over at SprinklerBandit as they try to figure out his lamness. Barry was 23 when he had to be retired due to a tendon injury, so I really hope Cuna's is fixable. I love to read about his adventures and admire Aimee for taking on an older horse. They are special.

Okay now for updates from my barn:

Roscoe, due to the holiday missed another chance at breeding. Although ERC could collect, FedEx would not pick up and the other options were too pricey. Oh well, there is always next month. I did get a surprise call at 9am from ERC asking if Roscoe would be at his 10am appointment. Turns out they tentatively put him on the books for collection when the breeder called asking if they did collections on the holiday. Unfortunately, I did not know and did not call to cancel. ERC is very good about being flexible, so no hard feelings.

Winston, is off of heavey pain medicine and only getting BL twice a day. His walking has improved and his turns are almost sound. He still has a slight hesitation especially turning right. We decided to pay the money and have our farrier do his trim. I have trimmed his feet myself for 7 yrs, but I really wanted his opinion and he is faster. Winston got a bute the night before, which made him feel too good, and stood great for our farrier. I am now armed with how to trim him and the knowledge that his right is his sore foot. Our farrier will check on him too when he does the other horses.
Since he is feeling better, stall rest is not sitting so well with him. To help we let him stall hop and play "Merry Maid" by cleaning up the fallen hay the others leave behind. Even with that his new thing is to unclip and take down his hay bag. So now we have "C" clips, that screw down, on his bag. Plus today I let him walk around the sacrifice area with the boys. I think he enjoyed squealing at Roscoe. He tends to enlist DaVinci into grooming with him. The good news is he is losing weight. He has withers for the first time. The bad news is he is still so hungry and it makes him grumpy. Diets are no good.

Winston way laid DaVinci even before his bridle was off.
And speaking of diets, Comrade and his barn budding Sonny have a new hay feeder. It soaks the hay, then can be drained so the horses can eat the hay. Both horses had no problems with the wet hay or the holders. Wish I could use it for Winston, but at $300 a piece, that is not happening.
Porta Grazer

Inside piece that slows eating.
Rosemary is still a drama queen, but she is a queen with a shrinking sarcoid. We are at just over 6 months of treatment and are really happy with the results. Here is a short photo progression.
Jan 2012: this was the beginning and was removed. The rough area above had been there since we bought her.
Jan 2013: Sarcoid at its worst after reappearing in late 2012
April 2013: After the tip fell off, notice hair growth above
Not the best picture, 5-28-13 much smaller and hair is completely grown in over the sarcoid
Joyce Harman told us she would regrow the hair on what we thought was a scar, but here is the proof she was right.

Dottie and DaVinci continue to be their awesome selves. I did have to have a conversation with DaVinci that if he wanted grass he had to wear his muzzle. Eventually after conferring with Winston he began to see my way. These older ponies think they rule the barn. Dottie is in season again and talking to Roscoe. It is all good as long as it is just talking. With our wacky weather I had to blanket Winston two nights and all one night. This meant an impromtu blanket repair for Dottie's sheet. She tore off her surcingle clip. I found another one and then realized the thread must be at home. So I improvised with baling twine. Love that stuff.
My quick fix
So overall things are good at the barn. Now if we could just figure out why our Corgi Kayla is not feeling so hot. Animals always keep you on your toes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Saying Good Bye

This time of month is hard for me. Next Wednesday marks 4yrs since I lost Barry. I thought I was doing okay this year even though I knew the time was here. Then a few things I read on other blogs tipped me over the edge and I got teary.

The happy side, reading about Jen and Connor rocking it at their first Horse Trial reminded me that Barry and I were once the "little pony" beating the big boys. I was so proud that my 13.3h Arab was defeating TB's and Warmbloods. We both endured the Dressage, so we could get to Cross Country and find the freedom of flying over those fences. He excelled at that stage and I was golden once we got over the first jump. In stadium, I blessed his past barrel racing when we made tight inside turns and finished clear. So as I cheer on Jen for her success a part of me mourns the loss of that connection with Barry. Something amazing happens when you ride the right horse on a Cross Country course.

Our Blue Ribbon Dressage ride led to winning the whole event.
Focus: Barry only cared about the jumps and never got distracted

The sad side, reading about the loss of Carlos at Viva Carlos. I know the loss was not sudden or surprising, but it was still a hard decision to make. No one wants to decide, but as owners we have to take the long term comfort of our horses into consideration. I feel for her and am glad she had the time to say good bye. Since Barry was taken by lightning, that is my biggest regret, not being there with him. Some may think not having to decide is easier, but I can honestly say it is not.

Barry: June 19th 1982 - May 29th 2009

Barry was "THE ONE" and I had 13yrs, 4 of those he was retired, with him and I wish I had more. So with the horses I have now, I take advantage of the technology available. Pictures and videos galore. Horses enrich our lives while they are here and live on in memories after they are gone. As hard as it is to say good bye, I would not trade the experience of having a horse for anything.

Hug your ponies and enjoy the gifts they give us everyday.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Drama Mama Video

Rosemary can be such a Drama Mama. Since she came out of her vanilla shell after we bought her, her true dramatic self has been revealed. At the Welsh show, Roscoe was dramatic and we said he had his mother's attitude. The good thing is it translates to awesome movement. The bad thing is it also translates to very opinionated pony.
Who me?

In the past when riding, she would need a tough talk telling her it was time to work and focus.
Corrections were met with defiance. She had her moments of brilliance but frustration normally took the lead. Super green pony and riders who have never started a pony before made for head banging, "what was I thinking," rides.
Weather and timing made last year more about her driving training and less about her under saddle training. Rosemary took right to the driving and in retrospect driving helped her body awareness tremendously. This year since her sarcoid has prevented the use of blinkers, she has been ridden more often. I am not sure what she studied over the winter, but she is a different pony. She is straighter and much more willing to listen to what we ask. Before she would brace and straight was never applied to her.
Unknown to each other, Mom and I have been working on the same things with her:

1. Teaching her to move into the outside aids, less motorcycle impressions. Lead her nose in then bring it back against her neck and ask with inside leg to move and fill the outside reins. Right side is tough for her. Serpentine and spirals are helpful.

2. Suppleness, which I guess you always work on. Rosemary is less like a yacht now that she is figuring out bending through her body. Bending lines and consistency with the aids really help her. If I feel her tense or brace, I add in a bell curve or half circle helping her release the tension or refocus.

3. Rhythm. This is where her drama mixed with her greenness can be really apparent. The other day, she was entirely too focused on Dottie calling from the field and her walk was choppy. She literally was stomping her feet. Hard to have a nice ground covering walk when you stomp. With her trot she wanted to get quick. In the end I asked her to open and close her trot. I even had to verbally command her to get her to focus. Using terms we use while driving really snapped her back into work. Instead of falling down hills, she sat and balanced. At this point, I will use any tool I can to advance her training. I did tell her that I could not talk to her in a dressage test.

Yesterday I really tested her by riding her a second time. Mom had worked her earlier in the day. Since all the horses had worked, I chose her to have a second ride. She surprised me by going right to work. I thought she was going to canter, so I asked. It was not great, but she did a short burst. We need to work it on the ground so she knows what we are asking. Her rhythm was better and she was reaching for the bit. Her walk was back to the ground covering stride she excels at with a nice floppy neck. Such a good pony.
Pony Hug

I really wish I could afford lessons. With direction I think she is at a point to really grow and learn. But her eye and Winston's health are the priority. We shall just keep trying.

Here is a video of our ride yesterday.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring Fling 2013

After an insane show prep day, the show day dawned with ominous clouds. Fortunately, we did leave the boys in overnight. By 630 am we had them loaded and headed to Front Royal.
Bundled in coats, we checked the ponies in and got our numbers. Then we went to unload. Roscoe was looking out his door when a mare walked by and pooped. Cue crazy stallion. He called, shook up the trailer and even pulled hard enough to engage the safety release on the trailer tie. Oh, boy this could be fun.
Roscoe's breeder, Lisa, jumped into the trailer and gave him a talking to before we unloaded. They both headed off for a "remember me and my rules," walk. She did not get to have that talk the day before, so this was her only chance. Peggy took charge of Comrade and Mom and I  went between both boys. We ended up parking right next to the people who own the two section C yearlings who would compete against Roscoe. They were asking questions about handling Roscoe since one of theirs is a colt. I love the friendly, openness of the Welsh owners.
Soon the time came to head to the show arena. We decided to bring Roscoe to the upper arena where we could shut the gate before putting on his bridle. Plus it was away from the other ponies. Between Mom and Lisa they got him bridled with only a few reminders to pay attention. I was so happy Lisa was there to handle him. Our previous ground work and ERC's stallion training really paid off. He had his moments, but Lisa was able to regain his attention. He did flash his studly parts to make sure everyone knew he was a stallion. Gotta love a 2 yr old.
Onto the show ring.
Roscoe was so good. Lisa trotted him in and around then halted for the judges. The pony that always stands hip shot when I handle him, was posing and posturing for Lisa. She brings out the showman in him. The same thing happened last year when she showed Rosemary. People still remember Rosemary from that show. Great handlers are amazing. Over the three times Roscoe went into the arena, he never reared and really never completely lost control. Lisa worked hard focusing him and reminding him to mind his space. His final morning class was Grand Champion Cob and included the section C filly and 3 yr old mare. And Roscoe was standing right in between both of them. No problem, he actually even deflated a bit. I guess going to shows since he was 3 months old is finally paying off.
The results were not unexpected: Roscoe was Champion C/D Colt and Reserve Grand Champion Cob. We knew he would not beat the 3 yr old mare, who has been winning a lot this year. We won because our pony behaved better than expected.
Comrade's class followed and he was the lone C/D Cob gelding. He still needed to show off and be memorable to the judges for the later class. He got comments that he was the best Cob and that he is awesome. He also got fat and chunky comments. One judge even manipulated his crest. So many people admired him even as fat as he is. I do not blame them, he is an amazing example of a Cob. Before we got Rosemary, he was the standard I judged others by and none measured up to his level.
After that class we were done until the Supreme classes. So we headed back to the upper arena to put Roscoe back in his halter. He still had his moments of calling and posturing to girls but they got easier to redirect as the day went on. Because the weather was still threatening rain, we loaded them back onto the trailer for the long wait. To help Roscoe we kept his door closed. Both boys ate and snoozed, while some crazy ponies were kicking the hell out of the trailer next to us. I wanted to hug my boy and say "Thank you for being a wonderful patient pony."

We set up our chairs and settled. We chatted with other owners and riders and happily received compliments for the boys. One rider, who could not show because the judge owned the horse she normally competed, came and said how much she liked/Comrade. I reminded her that we rode in the same Ridden Welsh class last year. I said " he was the one bucking," and that brought the memory back for her. She also said that given time to grow, /Roscoe will be stellar too. Lisa showed off his video and chatted more with her. Later Lisa told Peggy that the rider said she would love to ride Comrade. Of course she said yes. I said as long as I am there. That will be something to look forward to.
While we were waiting it started sprinkling, so we put up the gazebo we brought. Mom's bright idea was one to always have. Soon after that we had to get the boys dressed again. The upper arena was in use, so Roscoe got dressed in the trailer. Then we had two ponies ready to go and it was not time yet. So Mom and Peggy walked them under the gazebo. Our Cobs did not even bat an eye at what they asked.

The rain stopped in time for the Supreme classes. First up was Comrade in all his chunky glory. We figured he had a good chance of winning something. What he won was Supreme Champion Gelding under BOTH judges. That was against the A and B geldings and a meaningful win. Comrade paid for his show fees, our lunch and even part of the chickens Peggy bought with the prize money he won. Not a bad result considering he was not supposed to do breed classes. Originally he was only doing Ridden Welsh.
Then it was Roscoe's turn. We knew he had no chance of winning, but the experience was worth the time. By this point, Roscoe was BORED. He was acting up, not standing still just to get corrected. Roscoe loves to work and standing still does not fulfill his need. Over all he was well behaved. As Mom put it, "he saved his balls with good behavior." Crude but true. I want a performance pony more than a stallion, so his studly longevity depends on his manageability.
And to totally prove how well behaved Roscoe was, back at the trailer Lisa was so excited about Comrade's win and wanted pictures, she dropped Roscoe's lead line and walked to Comrade. It took me a second to pick up my jaw and reach for the lead. I said, "Lisa you just dropped the Colt!!!" Roscoe just stood there. Ah our boy is great.
Now for pictures:

Castleberrys Comrade with Lisa and the Judges, Cob Gelding Class

Run Pony

See what Lisa gets out of him?

Both the judges liked Comrade's long mane, which Lisa hates. I laughed when they admired it.

Proud breeder with Double Supreme Champion Gelding

Roscoe's turn

Cob 2+  year Colt class

Me taking pictures of a great subject

Section C 3yr old mare and Sec C yearling Colt with Roscoe in Grand Champion Cob Class

Rotten Roscoe and Lisa says "talk to the hand"

Practicing Piaffe when bored during Supreme Welsh Class

Castleberrys ReFflection and Lisa his breeder

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Too tired for a long show recap, so here are a few pictures to give you a sense of the day's results.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Elvis Moves by Winston

Our horses all know they have to "work" for treats. Work includes stretches, picking up feet, putting heads down and clicker training. Well Winston does this thing with his legs when he is trying to decide what trick to do. He gets wobbly legs and moves side to side. You can see his chest jumping. I call it his Elvis legs. We have not been able to get video of it...until today. Not his best moves, but you can see some of it.
Winston's moves

Poor boy is getting bored being stuck in the stall. He stood for a little while after we videoed his  walk again just watching the other horses. Then he checked out the handsome pony, ha ha, in the reflection of the truck and looked in the truck bed.

And here is the video of his walk today: Winston 5-15-13

As for show news, Roscoe will have another colt to compete against for Champion. Then he will go against a filly and a 3yr old mare for Grand Champion. The 3yr old mare wins everything normally, so this will be for experience rather than winning. Roscoe is still skinny, so it will take a judge with vision to see beyond his lightness. Should be interesting. Comrade on the other hand will be all by himself until he goes up against the other sections. One of the judges actually bred Comrade's (and Connor's) sire, *Tuscani Dundee. Wonder how she will like Comrade? Unlike Roscoe, Comrade is super fat. To the point, I asked Peggy to rinse his hay and she said she would try to ride him more during the week. I do not want him to go the way of Winston. Roscoe got his face trimmed today so he has time to smooth out any blade marks. Bath time will come Friday. Now to decide whether to bring Roscoe to Peggy's and use her hot water or make him deal with our own cold water. I guess the weather will make the decision.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Winston Walks Videos

Okay so the first video was taken on Saturday.
Video one

The second video was taken Monday.

Video two

What do you think?

He had a rough morning today. His whole body was having muscle spasms and he looked in pain. It was very cool the night before, so I think he was cold. We did end up giving him Banamine to help him feel better and put his cooler on while he was standing in the ice boots. Tonight we put sheets on everyone since the temperatures were going to be in freezing range.
We shall see how he is tomorrow.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bravo, Dover Saddlery

I am mentally shot after everything we have been dealing with the last week. So I will update about Winston soon, but I need a different subject for now.
That said, this Saturday is the Welsh Spring Fling. Roscoe will be doing the breed class and Comrade, after a schedule change will be too. Originally I was going to ride Comrade in the Ridden Welsh and get to redeem ourselves from last years debacle. Unfortunately, they put 9 more classes before Ridden Welsh making the day too long for us to stay. So Comrade will only be doing the in hand class. I don't know if I would be in the right frame of mind to show him to the fullest by Saturday anyway. Fingers crossed that their breeder will come to handle them, which means I can take pictures.
Next, as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed I noticed Dover Saddlery's summer photo contest. I did not look at them, but my mind made a note of it. A few days later I saw that Dover had put a message about this contest and future contests:

*** PLEASE NOTE: Dover Saddlery is a strong supporter of responsible riding, therefore anything that resembles a risky act or does not represent appropriate riding attire (such as riding without a helmet) will not be considered in this or any future contests. If a picture has been deleted from the contest or not posted please resubmit a photo that falls within these guidelines. ***
They received a lot of negative responses to this statement. I agree with some that they need to enforce more than just not wearing a helmet and include wearing wrong footwear for example. The debate will never end about helmets, but it is nice to see them not accepting these photos. They are not taking away a person's right to choose, they are just not promoting dangerous choices. So bravo, Dover.
Have I always worn a helmet? Nope, I have pictures of when I was a kid riding western with no helmet. That changed when the military base issued a directive that 18 and under must wear a helmet at all times. We all had to watch the video, Every Time, Every Ride that showed people who suffered injuries from falling, some just in walking between the barn and arena. Even before the mandate, if any jumping was involved a helmet must be worn. Eventers and show jumpers must wear helmets over fences. Why then do Western people who jump obstacles not have to wear a helmet? Those are not small jumps. I saw one jump a couch. We got my dad a western hat helmet, so he enjoyed the helmet better.
I am a believer in prevention, so I wear a helmet. My Aunt died from a head injury incurred from a fall when she began to ride a horse to the trail. Just that quick. So it is a hard line for me. I probably would not take lessons from someone that does not wear a helmet themselves and although I admire some big time riders, part of me loses faith when they do not wear a helmet. They set examples for younger riders and that scares me for the future.
Hopefully, I did not tick off too many people. This is just how I feel. I do believe people need to have a choice at home on their own time. But, when shows or companies like Dover put regulations in place they should be respected for their choices in the same way the person choosing not to wear a helmet wants to be.
Well, I had more to say about that than I thought.
Tonight or tomorrow, I will post some videos of Winston walking.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

After a long wait, Fed Ex finally delivered the Laminil at about 2pm and our vet arrived at about 3pm. Winston could not have any pain medication before the procedure, but he was looking good.
What's up Mom?

So the good news: Our vet believes with time Winston will make a full recovery. She is really pleased with the progress he has made in three days. He still has the careful, flat footed walk characteristic of laminitis, but it is not as obvious. She quickly set up for the procedure.
Give the pony a sleepy cocktail

Clean and sterilize the area for IV

Load the syringes with laminil
Apply tourniquet and IV
Then she began pushing in the Laminil. It pushed in easily and only took a minute. Then the IV tube was tucked up as she did the other foot. Winston had to keep the tourniquet on for 30 minutes, so we had time to kill. Our vet said he would remain on strict stall rest until he is sound even while turning. Then he can begin with an hour of turn out in dry lot with a muzzle, since our dry lot has some grass. He will never eat in the pasture again, but he may eventually return to work. Very good news. Winston celebrated his 17th birthday today, and now we can hope for more to come. This Laminil could prevent so many painful days for ponies, once vets have it readily available. Our vet has already ordered more for another patient. Winston was the first for her practice, but hopefully many more will benefit.

The Bad: The same day Winston was diagnosed, Jenna came up really lame. Three days later she was even worse. She barely puts weight on her right front and throws her head and neck upwards to get moving. It has to be the most horrible thing to watch her move. Mom and I were really worried, but her owner was confident she could get her through it. We mentioned how bad she looked to the vet and as we walked out to show Rosemary's eye to her, she saw for herself. Since she had to wait for Winston anyway, she said she would look at Jenna's foot. Hoof testing quickly showed the abscess point was on the inside bar. She that was a weird spot. I said Jenna is normally weird. She dug it out and pus began draining. A little more digging, more pus. I have to say I have never seen such a bad abscess. What's more, our vet said she had not seen one recently. A little Ace, finally helped settle her while her foot soaked. We finished with Winston, and said good bye to the vet before finishing Jenna.

The Ugly: We decided to call her owner, to let her know what happened. She was not happy and questioned our judgement letting someone work on her horse. As if we would let just anyone handle her horse. My jaw dropped as she asked how much it would cost her. She continued to complain about the fact the vet recommended stall rest. She completely brushed off the severity of the abscess. Okay, now I was ticked off and Mom was too when I explained. Our vet was charging her nothing. As she put it, she had time to kill and she could not leave her when she was in so much pain. By the time she came to the barn she had changed her tune a bit, but the words had already been said. She told us she had a bad week...really. Geez, we would not know anything about how that is.

We checked on Winston that evening, and gave him some pain medication. He could not have any until 6 hours after the procedure. I was glad to see she did leave Jenna in for the night. The poor girl was exhausted just from moving around with the girls. So hopefully, both the lame ponies are feeling better tomorrow.
Rosemary making me feel less mentally exhausted.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Drugs are Coming!

Woo Hoo the Laminil should be here tomorrow. Winston will have to wear standing wraps tonight and tomorrow until the procedure. It is really happening.
When I get home I will be charging my camera, so I can document the day. I really hope this makes him feel better.
He is so sweet
And with all that has happened I forgot to mention Roscoe got a call for collection. Well he got a call, then it got rescheduled and then it got canceled because the mare owner's vet did not monitor the mare closely enough and missed the window of opportunity. So Roscoe gets a break until her next cycle. I felt bad for the mare owner since she paid money to have the mare prepped and monitored and now has nothing to show for it. Oh the joys of breeding.

Till tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Winston Update

Thank you all for your well wishes. Please keep Winston in your thoughts. I am a big believer in positive thinking.
When I got home yesterday, Mom told me more about the day. Winston did not want to walk in from turn out and it was pouring. Big red flag. His muscles were twitching from the pain. I have to say we have a wonderful vet. Mom called and said she really thought Winston was in a bad way and they immediately worked to fit him in between appointments. No questions. We are not ones to call the vet over small things, so they know if we call it is important.
Our vet in addition to the Banamine and Ulcer prevention meds, also put him on Thyroxine. This will induce Hyperthyroidism and hopefully help him lose some weight while on stall rest. We have a whole page of instructions for all his medicines. She said to mix the meds with applesauce, but we are just going to use wheat bran. Joyce Harman said that was okay. Dr Harman said to try and get him off the pain medicine as soon as possible. Too much walking is not good. Lying down is actually the best for him. And of course she recommended putting him on Pro Bi. Stomach health is a large part of managing laminitis.
We also have to ice his hooves and legs at least twice a day to help with inflammation. Surprisingly, Winston did not mind the big, blue boots. Such a good boy.
Icing session last night
Fortunately, Peggy and Larry had a spare Nibble Net we could use for Winston so that we could slow his hay consumption. We normally wrap hay in landscaping mesh and drop into a hay bag, but this net will be easier and quicker to use. Mom had to add some landscaping mesh to make up for a big hole one of Peggy's horse ate into it. Winston has very nimble lips and had no problem with the jerry rigged bag.
And finally...
At about 1am I received a response from the doctor in charge of the Laminil trial. He said "(Winston) is an ideal candidate, because the drug is most effective when used during 48-72 hours after occurrence." I just needed to have my vet send authorization and a shipping address and they would send the Laminil. How about that?
I immediately forwarded the email to our vet, whose opinion I trust, and asked if she knew anything about it and was it worth trying. Today I got her response. At first, she was leery since she had not heard about it and so many laminitis drugs are questionable. She recommended contacting Dr Harman for holistic treatment if we wanted a different path. Then about a half hour later, she wrote that she looked over the information about the trial and Laminil. She said "It looks promising, Let's try it." We sent back for her to go ahead and contact the trial group to start the process. Now we wait.
I am not normally drawn to this type of treatment, we normally go as holistic as possible. But I am a believer of "Things happen for a reason," and my seeing the trial article the day before is too big to ignore. Added to that, when I went to the Laminil website the trial is now full and not accepting any more horses.
So that is where we stand as of now. Winston is more comfortable looking, according to Mom, but it will be a long road.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

About to Cry

Despite everything we do to prevent it, Winston has been diagnosed with Laminitis. Yesterday he was a little sore and today he really did not want to walk. He was in so much pain, Mom called the vet.
He is in the early stages and has to be on Banamine 2x. Which means he has to be on Gastro guard. They also put him on another medicine which decreases over time. He is only allowed 4 flakes of hay a day and that is it.
Mom is headed out to buy ice boots. What a nightmare.
Yesterday I read an article about a trial drug, Laminil which has helped with laminitis. The drug helps prevent the inflammatory response in the mast cells. A horse that would barely walk was treated and four days later did a little jog on hard ground. It is administered through the vein in the fetlock with a tourniquet so it back flows into the foot.
I don't know what will come of it, but I emailed the doctor doing the study and told him about Winston. They are looking for more horses, so it is worth a try.
Winston has always been insulin resistant, and carries extra weight which is why we are vigilant about muzzles and dry lotting. Unfortunately, something tipped him over the edge. It could be the spring bloom or the stress of Roscoe being gone that two weeks.
Mom and I are probably both doing the "if only we had done this or that" thing right now. Nothing feels good right now.
So keep Winston in your thoughts. Poor boy, his 17th birthday is on Friday. Worst gift ever :(
And added to all this, Jenna is 3 legged lame. Mom can't reach Gretchen at home or work. When it rains it pours, just like the weather right now. I need a sunny day.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Playing Hardball

My day was filled with stubborn red Cobs. First Comrade.
Peggy is leaving for awhile so we had to get his paperwork together for the breed show. Easier said then done. Welsh age 6 or older have to be measured at the shows. Once they get two measurements the same from two shows, the owner can apply for a permanent measurement card. Comrade's came in the mail a month ago. He is officially 14.1 and 3/8in. Anyway, Peggy had to look everywhere for the card. Finally, after an intensive search it was found.
At that point I gathered all the paperwork to finish filling out later and told Peggy it was time for a trail ride. Peggy rode Addie and I was on Comrade. Most horses are more comfortable with a buddy. Comrade decided that he needed to A. show off for Addie and B. the bogey monsters were out in spades. We went down the killer hill and walked by the creek. Then back up the hill. Addie is not in shape so I had Peggy trot her up the hill. The higher she went up the hill, the higher Comrade's head went. Silly goose. He tried to rush up the hill and catch up to Addie. Sorry bud, not happening. Transitions instead. Redirecting the energy helped a lot. I definitely do not want him taking control. He has done that with Peggy before I started riding him and she ended up on the ground.
I used all the little jumps scattered throughout he woods to focus him. And I even jumped a much bigger log for the first time. He did well, after I set the boundaries
Who me?
Next was Roscoe. He really pouts with his muzzle, but he is not ready to eat grass full time with out it. I told Mom I would let him have an hour of muzzle free eating. Then I had an evil thought. He needs his mane shortened. Which if you have read this blog for any length of time, you know Roscoe is a nightmare to deal with when it comes to his mane. So I decided to play hardball. I put his rope halter and lead on, brought him out to the pasture and told him "You can eat, but I am working on your mane." It took him a bit to realize I meant business, then he settled into eating. Armed with an old clipper blade I set to work on his crazy mane. Normally I prefer a dirty mane for pulling/thinning, but in Roscoe's case I found his clean mane easier to work with. He had his moments, withers and behind the ears, that caused us to have discussions. In the end his want of grass overruled his dislike of his mane being shortened. I made such good progress, I let him have the last fifteen minutes for just eating. I still need to do a little more and I have to undo his braid holding his fly tag and shorten that piece. Considering I was working on an angle, it is pretty even.

I know I am close because I see his color spot. See the tail of his fly tag braid?

My red Cob day ended better than it started. Whew, playing hardball is hard on me too.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Necessary Evil

Over the last few weeks our grass has really started growing. All the horses are on a schedule of one day dry lot, then one day pasture with muzzles. Depending on how they look we may even go to two days dry lot, then one day pasture. Roscoe as a 2yr old does not really bear the same risks as the older ones eating the grass, but we are muzzling him too. Having experienced a founder horse before, I never want that for any of mine. Muzzles require care and maintenance, but save lives.
Roscoe asking Mom "What's up with this?"

So yesterday Roscoe wore his muzzle for the first time. Even though he is grey hound skinny right now, the grass is too rich to just put him on it. The muzzle will help wean him into it after two weeks of no grass. He played up pathetic really well. He even tried coming up to me and putting his head down asking nicely for me to take it off, like we would his halter. Eventually he went to try to eat. The good part, Roscoe cannot take off the others muzzles or pick off pieces like he did last year.
This morning he was doing the Winston pout, butt to the fence with a leg cocked not eating. I led him to his stall and freed him from the torture device. He immediately started on his hay bag like a starving pony.
"Okay I ready for this to come off now"

Trying to be like DaVinci and Winston
I reluctantly took him away from his hay to work on walking onto the trailer. Armed with a banana we were able to get him to walk on and back off a few times with only a little hesitation. I'll take that for now. During the process DaVinci about raised the roof with a neigh, thinking we were taking his buddy away again. Not this time, but soon Roscoe will have to go.
Fortunately for us, Dottie does not seem to be in raging heat any more. So Roscoe does not get teased as bad. He had a moment the other day when he seriously thought about rearing and tearing towards the girls. I could see him work through it and nix the idea. Soon I got him moving around me, then sitting and turning. He settled into the work and even ignored Dottie when she talked to him. Score one for early, consistent training. This bodes well for him staying a stallion.
Roscoe is definitely happy to be home and boy are we happy he is there :)