Thursday, November 24, 2016

500th Post: Giving Thanks, Riding Warehouse Giveaway!!!

For almost four years now I have written about my riding and my horses. Fortunately you all have taken the time to read and comment. So for my 500th post, I reached out to Riding Warehouse and received two egift cards to give away. Riding Warehouse has a super reputation and I only hear good opinions of their site. My own experience has been positive and resulted in a Micklem, fancy reins and great hair nets. Hopefully two of you will benefit from the gift cards.

On this day when we give thanks,
I thank all of you for making Equinpilot what it is today.
I also thank Riding Warehouse for donating the gift cards to make this give away possible.

I am lucky to have seven wonderful horses in my life and a family and friends that help support them.

I give thanks to the horses of my past that helped me be the person I am today.

So now on to the giveaway. There are two chances to win depending on the level of participation.

To win the $20 egift card:
Leave a comment below with your favorite Riding Warehouse product.

To win the $40 egift card:
Leave a comment below with your favorite Riding Warehouse product.
Share this give away on your blog and post the link in the comments below.

Winners will be picked Friday December 2nd.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Never Ending Cold Virus and Give A Way Alert

Not much has been happening at the barn... except more snot and coughing. This cold virus is still wreaking havoc in the herd. Poor Winston seems to be the hardest hit. Roscoe is a close second though. The good news is that Dottie is showing increased mobility since being on the Previcox. And so far I have been able to order more Previcox. I am going to keep ordering until the prescription expires.

The tough part is deciding whether to work the horses or give them time to heal. Some of them just look tired. I decided to play with Roscoe since I saw him romping about the field. After that ride that revealed how much he is holding back, I expect more and ask him for it. I refuse to work harder than him. This ride was definitely a step in the right direction. I worked him on the ground first and then pushed him to give me the same trot under saddle. He is responding quicker than the first time I asked for more. He still has his sticky moments especially when he thinks we should be done. Love my Cobby boy!
Screen shot of tonights ride, so flat

Today my Mom and I tried another session with her directing from the ground. Almost immediately I could tell Roscoe was not himself. He was obedient and with effort gave us what we wanted, but it was not with the same energy the first session had. We WTC both ways before calling it a day. His energy was low and his movement flat. My baby needs some rest.

Ember's anti pawing bowl protection
My other baby, Ember, needs some work. His company manners have worn off and he is starting to push his boundaries. Boy is he cute though. We have played with clippers, messed with his ears and taken him on trail walks with Dottie. Leggy boy measures 12 hands already. He seems to like my sister and lets her rub on him without complaining. Who knows he may be her ride in a few years.

Ah well, giving the ponies time off means I have time to do holiday shopping. Fly on Over is holding her 4th annual Blogger Gift Exchange and I always enjoy participating.

And if anyone needs help with holiday shopping, stay tuned for tomorrows post which will be a give a way with two chances to win gift cards.

Have a good Thanksgiving everyone!
Standing on a sawdust pile to steal hay

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"To Everything There is a Season"

When Mom told me the news that Byrds song came to mind. We know the time will come for all our horses but it is still sad.
So big, but so sweet

For Dottie, she has moved into the next season of her life: Retirement. The sad fact is that these big horses age faster and gravity is much harder on them. Mom had the chiropractor out to work on her and Deliah. We worried about the fact that Dottie had not been rolling as often and was stocking up more. We know she has issues in her neck and hind end. And everyone knows that "no hips" means "no horse." Not surprising the chiropractor found arthritis in her neck. What was surprising was that the arthritis in her neck was causing ataxia in her hind end. This causes her some instability and the end ridden work. The kids can still play with her, but no more adults. Plus the ataxia has probably lead to the loss of muscle we have been seeing. My sister, who is Dottie's main rider, worried she caused it by not riding very often. Our chiropractor made sure to tell her that was not the case.
Dottie was full of acupuncture needles and they must have released some blockage because she peed in the aisle. That lead to another revelation when the pee had mucus in it. The muscle loss has caused her girly part to recede and create a shelf, so she must have some back wash. Fortunately, the vet today said there is no infection. Anyway the chiropractor said the needles stay in longer for Dottie because she is an Earth Horse. Ha, I pinned her right. Some definitely were painful at first, but Mom said she relaxed as the pathways opened up.
We don't have to make the tough decision, but it is closer than I would like. This winter will be telling. The vet today put her on Previcox to help her feel a little better. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical companies have figured out they can get twice as much money from us by making an equine formula. Thanks a lot for making it harder to provide pain relief. I am going to try and order a bunch of Previcox before Winston's prescription expires so that the cost is lower.

So Dottie moves into the purely pampered pony category and will hopefully feel much better. She already has rolled more. I was never so happy to see a dirty horse before.
Dirty Dottie :)

On other news, the entire barn is now fighting the cold virus. As ugly as it is, we can only just keep doing the supportive care and let it run it's course. Ember was checked out by the vet today and got a thumbs up except for a wormy belly. A fecal will help us fix that problem.

Nothing cuter than a baby in a blanket
And finally Roscoe's oldest foal, Castleberrys Debonair, finished the Royal in Canada as Reserve Champion Cob. He came in second to an awesome mare who was bred in PA and used to show against Roscoe. The funny thing is, he seems to dislike baths. That is a trait he shares with Daddy. Roscoe has improved over the years but it will never be his favorite activity. PC for photos: friends of Debonair's Owner

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Coughing Cobs and Snotty Noses

Looks like I made the Cobs sick... okay more like Ember. Fortunately, it just seems to be a dry cough and snotty noses. Ember had gunk in his eyes when we picked him up and so did Ebony. A couple days after we brought him home, he greeted us with a snotty nose. A call to the vet resulted in us watching him and taking his temperature. No high temps and only a dry cough followed. He never lost his appetite or worried us. We put him on Vitamin E and C to help boost his system and he gradually improved.
Yesterday Mom reported the other Cobs are showing similar symptoms. They all will go on Pulsatilla, a homeopathic remedy, which helps with those symptoms.

5 pills x2 day, 5 days

 Comrade is happy because this means he gets a little meal in the evening to take his pills. Hopefully in another week, everyone will be healthy. Ember is all good now and he had the travel stress on top of the cold.

I wish my cold went away as quickly. I am still dealing with a cough. Ah well, we can all cough together.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Committed to Showing

While I was on vacation, I saw a post about Jump Start 2017. When I clicked on the link it was an offer to buy dressage tests in bulk at discounted rates. The place where the shows are held is about a half hour away from the horses and I have wanted to show there, so I looked.

To be used in 2017
Package 1: 5 dressage tests for $100

Package 2: 10 dressage tests for $200

$20 a test is pretty cheap for our area, especially since it is close. Normally I have to drive at least an hour to show. At that price I went all in and bought Package 2. I can use it for any of the horses and I specified my Mom as an authorized user too. Now that the money is spent, I will make the time and show my ponies. Come what may...

Show dates... Eek Ready or not.

Hard at work
Plus this year we have to get back to the welsh shows so that Ember can get some show experience. After seeing how well Roscoe behaves, I really want to get him out there while he is young. I just have to convince him to trot next to me. Fortunately I have time.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Challenge Accepted!

Sorry I dropped off the blog world for the last week. I have been on vacation for two weeks and sick for basically the whole time. I think I caught a second bug after the trip to pick up Ember. Anyway Mr. Super Baby made it home in stellar condition.

Seriously this boy could give lessons on what to do while traveling. He quickly learned that when we stopped, he was to take his Pro Bi, drink his water and eat his wet cubes. Every time he did as asked. Then he went back to eating off the two bales we had to block the breast bar area. Though he really missed his Mom, he kept his priorities straight.
We pulled into the barn at midnight and this is when the "only just weaned" issues appeared. Ember was so excited that he finally received an answer to one of his neighs, I ended up with him over my shoulder. Thank you Roscoe for preparing me for baby antics. Now we had to get him off the trailer and into the barn with his limited leading. Ember decided that he did want to go to the barn, but the white grate in front of the aisle was way too scary.
So we pulled DaVinci out to see if Ember would follow him into the barn. Well DaVinci pinned his ears and totally frowned at the baby. Cue the baby clacking. Ember began to get somewhat frustrated at wanting to go be with horses, but not being able to get to them. Eventually we found another way. We led DaVinci into the paddock attached to the stall Ember would stay in and Ember followed. Whew! Finally he was secured.
Now he could go and visit Roscoe and Comrade. Those two we glued next to each other staring at the baby in fascination. Comrade squealed, Roscoe postured and Ember baby clacked. All good, time to go home.
The next day we let the rest of the herd meet him over the stall door. DaVinci and Dottie only glared at him since he is occupying their special stall and eating their hay. Winston squealed at him, seems to be the gelding thing to do. Rosemary was really interested, but did not hesitate if he got too forward to scold him. I think poor Ember thought she could be his mother. Roscoe and Comrade kept track of him through out the day, but their intensity decreased.
After cleaning the trailer we had just enough daylight to work on his leading and get a picture.

Ember walked out of his stall fine, but then got stuck by Dottie. I had to use a lead line and burrito him and get the forward motion going again. Ember walked right over the scary grate and we went by the trailer for the picture.
Castleberrys Esquire, Newest addition to Sixpence Farm

 Then we were able to work on walking without the burrito lead before going back to the barn. This time he looked at the grate and had to take a minute to examine the area before crossing. Ember has a solid brain in that cute head of his. We see it more everyday.
We talked about when we would let him go out with the Red Boys and Mom said she wanted him leading and eating out of the hay net. I think Ember heard because he already was leading like a champ and was making good progress eating out of the hay net. And since this topic sparked controversy on FaceBook, let me just say he has loose hay to eat, so he chooses to eat from the hay net. We supervised to make sure it was safe. We are only introducing him to the hay net because when he is turned out with the Red Boys, that is how the hay will be served. Back to Ember, he definitely said "Challenge Accepted!"
It was a hard choice to pick which of the five super foals Roscoe helped produce would come home, but each day Ember shows the right one fits right in. On Saturday we made the decision to let him go out with the Red Boys. Especially since he had done everything Mom asked him to learn. To help we used the neutral ground and no corner of the arena. Ember went out first and our jaws dropped when he started to move. That boy covers ground and has an awesome Cob trot. I only had my cell phone, but wished for my camera. As many times as I have visited the foals, they have never been active so I have sadly not seen any movement in person. Plus since Ember already had a home, his siblings took priority in the picture taking. Now all the foals are claimed and at their homes.
The quiet before the running

Once Ember was ready, we brought in Roscoe. All started quiet, but then Roscoe started moving/chasing Ember around the arena. He seemed to want to mount him, but never did. He nipped at him and rode his butt looking really aggressive. Mom and Peggy totally stressed out and I worried a bit. But as I watched you could see the energy decelerate and when Ember clocked Roscoe in the cheeks, the whole scene changed. Horses have to work things out on their own. It is hard, but herd dynamics work for a reason. After they both stopped and walked, we looked them both over. There was absolutely no mark on Ember, not even ruffled fur. Ember was not scared or worried by Roscoe. Roscoe had a few more time where he chased Ember, but Ember learned to kick him and shutdown the episode quicker. Soon they were eating the grass and corn stalks along the arena edge.

We bit the bullet and brought Comrade down to join in. I held Roscoe while the others interacted. As I worked Roscoe on the line, I saw Ember come towards Roscoe. Yep no worries in that baby. We had fun watching all three interact. Ember got a good bite from Comrade when he tried to eat Comrade's grass. Of course he just made baby faces and kept right on eating. Ember even took corn stalks right from Roscoe and Comrade's mouths.
Ember was great about handling the separation afterwards. We really want him getting enough hay, so he will stay alone at night.

 The next day I let him go out with the boys in the turnout. There was no drama, he meshed like he had always been there. He happily shared hay nets and tried to steal hay from Comrade's mouth which earned him a stern scolding. Since this pen shares a fence with the other horses he made sure to go visit. Roscoe was a bit of a helicopter dad, not wanting him to talk to the others. I did catch grumpy DaVinci grooming Ember before he pushed him away with an ugly face once he spotted me. I think Ember is growing on him. I was able to get a Cob shot and a 3 generation shot so I was happy.
Overall Ember has been an amazing edition to our herd. He is learning quickly and his personality works with the Red Boys. Mom thinks he will be our quiet Cob, but you know what they say about the quiet ones... :) I already found twine everywhere when he got into the storage bucket.

Anyone close by is welcome to visit :) Some of the neighbors have already come by.