Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Update on Red and the Riding Area

A quick update since my farrier is coming at 11:00 (which, in his time, means 10:30) and it's a busy day since we also have a barn cat being spade and it's finals week for the kids.

Red is doing GREAT. I went out a couple of days ago and found that he was swollen from hoof to fetlock. (Doesn't sound great, I know) But there was no heat in it and he wasn't lame. I assumed he was just stocked up from his confinement. Well, yesterday morning, I went out and right there at the front, left fetlock, was an open wound where he'd had a proud flesh injury before. (I don't know how he got it, he had it when we purchased him and the flies always bothered it in summer when he was stalled). It was oozing out fluid. I cleaned it up, applied an antibiotic and wrapped it. This morning I went out and removed the bandages and it was practically back to normal--still open, but no smell to it and quite clean. I'm guessing he banged it on something and opened it up.

As for the colic episode, that seems to be behind us. He's eating and drinking regularly now. I've added loose salt to his food,(Kate's suggestion, I believe) added a white salt block to the pasture as well as the selenium block. I checked the temp of the water by hand, and the heated waterers really do keep it warm. I don't see a problem with it being palatable. As for the rest of his diet--after reading some of your comments--I looked into a local supplement designed for horses in our area--it's called Northwest Horse Supplement. Red is already on Allegra Senior, so I'm not sure how the two of them would go together, or if they should, once I figure that out, I'll decide which direction to go. I do thank all of you again for your suggestions--there are more of them that I plan to research as well. The ones I've mentioned are just the easy, quick changes.

As for the arena--aka "riding area", as we were putting it up it started to look too small to me, but by the time it was finished and we'd rounded out the corners, it looked quite large. (I'm going to measure it again to see what it's final dimensions are, but I'd guess 140x100 or so) I do think I'll want to expand it eventually, but we'll see how it works out first. The ground was pretty level to begin with, but we evened it out some more and will start bringing in sand, hopefully, this weekend.

For now, we used t-posts to give it a backbone which seem to be pretty good. I certainly wouldn't put a bunch of horses in it together or train a new Mustang in it--but for a riding area with domesticated horses, it seems to be just fine.

I worked Beautiful in it for the first time yesterday and she loved it. She'd watched eagerly every second as we put it up and was dying to get over there and see what it was all about. After I worked with her leading I let her loose in it, but she didn't really want to run; she was more interested in grazing whatever grass was left there. I wasn't sure she was going to let me catch her when it was time to go, but she did. Lucky me.

So, time to get ready for the farrier. You can set your clock to him coming at least fifteen to thirty minutes early every appointment--so I like to be ready for him.

Happy Trails today wherever you're riding.


  1. Beautiful's looking very much at ease today. I was wondering, what exactly is the purpose of the arena? Is it an enclosed pleasure riding space? Or is it more than that?

    I'm about to ride off on the paved trail to the mall. My daughter will be graduating and applying for work soon, and needs a new suit!

  2. Joanne--I can only answer your question for myself--I like the larger riding area for a few reasons. 1.) It gives them a bigger area to work on skills, but where they're still confined. 2.) It helps them concentrate to be in an enclosed area, 3.) It gives you a uniform area to work with the footing--till it up, remove rocks and debris, bring in a footing material which for me will be sand. I look at everything as preparation for the trails since that's what I do with horses--so I'll be riding my filly, Cia, in there to start out with--but with the goal of getting her out on the trail. I'll also be practicing some games for our group's fun days. And, I'll be doing some in-hand trail stuff with Beautiful.

    The paved trail with 200-400 horse power engines--that's the way to go sometimes!

  3. So glad Red seems to be doing better!

  4. Thanks, Kate--I really want to pick your brain here and there about caring for elderly equine. That's going to be my latest and greatest focus. My vet told me Red has many good years of service left--where I'd kind of written him off. I want to see just how good of condition I can get him into. If he's going to live, which it appears he is, I'm going to make the most of this second chance. ;) I should say, he's always been used with the grandkids and I pony him a lot, but I think I'm going to get a bit more regimented in his daily exercise--nothing too strenuous, but a few laps around the pool, so to speak.

  5. Good news about Red!
    Love the new arena, looks like it will work well for you. It will be nice to have good footing. My sister's arena always has a bit of grass growing in it which is just so much more tempting to My Boy than working! ;)
    I hope the farrier was on time and the appointment went well!

  6. Hey Pony Girl--Yes, it was lots of fun to ride in the arena these last couple of days. If we don't get the sand in there, we'll soon have mud--that wouldn't be fun. The farrier was on time=early--as usual. The appointment was wonderful. Red, oddly, hadn't grown hardly any hoof. He said it's normal for old horses, but it could also have meant that he was sick this last month or so and we just didn't know it and it caused him to colic. He said we'll never know, but it isn't usual for Red to grow so little hoof.

  7. Love the riding area and am so thrilled that Red's doing better.

  8. Thanks, Gun Diva. I didn't expect him to get better last week--I was definitely on the pessimistic side--but, thankfully, have been proven wrong. BTW, the loose salt idea--I've never seen my horses drink so much water.

  9. I am so jealous of your riding area! It looks great.

    You might also check out Equerry's and HorseGuard. Aslin Finch carries the Equerry's, that's where I get mine. I'm sure they also carry HorseGuard, almost everyone does. I've heard good things about NW Horse Supplement. I've never used it though. I think LMF Super Supplement is comparable.

    You're right to be cautious about mixing supplements. If you're feeding a full ration of a complete senior feed it would likely be dangerous (and unnecessary) to add another supplement. But I'd imagine if you're only feeding half of the senior, you could feed half of the recommended amount of the other supplement. I've done that before.

    I'm so glad Red has made a full recovery!

  10. That is great news about Red!!
    I love the size of your arena, I wish I had more room to have a bigger arena, but my property is so muddy (a lot of underground springs) that the only spot to put an arena was at the highest point of the property, so my arena is only 60' x 100'. But I won't complain, much better then nothing!

  11. Hi Andrea--I used HorseGuard for a while and like it a lot. I'm not sure why I stopped. I'll check out the LMF super supplement as well. I have used LMF products as well.

    Paint Girl--I agree--a riding area of any size is great. Footing is always an issue--I want to bring in sand, but I'm going to be very interested in the price tag. More on that soon....

  12. I know nothing about Allegra but I do NW Supplement. If the Allegra product has any kind of supplement in it you won't want to feed them together. Good luck wading through the myriad of information on proper balances in horses diets. Still makes me crazy after all these years.


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