Saturday, March 6, 2021

Tumbleweed Freed

As hauling / training day approaches (5 days away) I had an epiphany about Tweed: if he can't stay sound at turnout, he shouldn't go to training. In other words, it's better to know now if he's fit and ready, rather than after he's hauled 2.5 hours away. I gave him an adequate amount of time to rest, but he wasn't really resting; he was charging around, rolling, bucking, and tearing apart his stall and run. His leg wasn't swollen anymore, and the ground was reasonably dry.

It was time to see what he had.

Of course, he was full of it. He could barely contain himself to make it to the pasture on the lead rope. But he did, and I give him high marks for it.

Oh, the bucking and farting that took place when I told him he was free.

And then, like an arrow--straight to Foxy Mama! She still has his heart.

Look at the above photo.  You will see Beautiful moving in on Tweed and Foxy, because she takes it upon herself to always keep them apart.

So Tweed went to see his other fave, Little Joe--his Foxy Mama's boyfriend.

As he walked away, he gave BG the "screw you" "you're not the boss of me!" stink eye.

I digested that information and decided to stall Beautiful. She looks like little orphan Annie, and could use some TLC, and I trust Foxy more to keep Tweed safe.  Also, Beautiful and the pony are buddies, and the pony, Lily, is spring fat, so I've stalled her next door to BG for her spring diet. (My farrier will be happy.)

After I made that little change, life got better for Cowboy, too. The sweet ones allow him to eat whenever he wants, and he likes the hay in the round bales better than the square bales in the barn.

Tumbleweed was reunited with Foxy, and "it feels so good."

Beautiful Girl is going to get some mama time with me. And she seems happy about that. It's not easy always being the "bad cop."

I'm wrapping Leah's leg for a couple hours per day.

She's not usually camped out like the photo above. Apparently, it's her grain eating stance. She has a bodywork session today in 1 1/2 hours. I'm so happy for her practitioner that it's somewhat warmer than last time. It was so cold when she came last that I couldn't even stay in the barn with her. I had to come inside where it was warm. Today, I'll stay out and watch.

Here's a photo of Cowgirl's belly bump. She isn't showing as much as you'd think, but since she's a maiden mare, that's probably normal. The vet was out last week and was very happy with her progress. She said she's the perfect weight, even though this photo makes her look thin. She's not. But she's not fat either. She has 24/7 grass hay and Omolene 300 morning and night, mixed with Equine Senior and whole oats. Her baby must be burning the calories for her.

I made an inquiry about breeding Leah to Gunna Out Shinya. I asked if they provide live cover, and how that would work. I want to have a situation more like Cowgirl's breeding, where she's covered the entire time she's in heat. I haven't heard back yet. I know some breeders only want to do AI, and others only want a live cover the day of ovulation, but that just sounds too complicated. 

Lots happening around here, but I'm enjoying every minute of it! 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Updates on the Spring Health Problems


Cowboy, like Leah, loves to be alone. He has always been the omega in the herd, and is probably more confident and happy away from them. Here he is today, grazing.

With Equioxx, Masterson Method body work, daily grazing, hand walking, and sunshine, Cowboy seems more solid.  

Here he is yesterday, and you can see he is not standing as solid on his back as he was today.

Here is Shiloh bringing him back into the barn for me yesterday. Tumbleweed's nose is in the left hand of the photo. He hates to be left back in his stall.

I hand-walked Tumbleweed today, but he was getting too wound up, and I didn't want to aggravate his leg.  It looks better, but you never know, and better safe than sorry.  I'll increase his exercise slowly each day until I feel comfortable. In the meantime, I've given him his vaccinations and worming, and he has shoes being put on the day he leaves for training. I decided to have my farrier do it since he was scheduled to come that day anyway.

I also did bodywork on Leah, and she has had so much of it now with our practitioner, that she is an old pro. In fact, the practitioner is coming Saturday. But there's a lot I can do , and she loves it. 

She still has swelling in her fetlock, but no heat. The heat went away the day after she showed up lame. The swelling is going down slowly. Since it's the leg that has permanent swelling from her yearling injury--before I purchased her she got her leg stuck in a cattle grate, and is lucky to be alive--but the permanent scarring makes it difficult to know what is new swelling and what is just her normal leg. I'll have to pull out some old photos and compare. In any case, she is one happy camper in her stall getting bodywork and lots of attention. She's in her happy place.

The mud is slowly starting to dry up because we've had temperatures in the 60s. Such a beautiful, yet dangerous time. My friend's horse coliced--inflamed intestines. He had to go to WSU and have surgery, and he appears to be doing better. But another of her horses has a mysterious lameness, and she made an appointment for an evaluation this week, but they canceled it due to being overwhelmed with colic emergencies. 

I was thinking about spring--and all that comes with it--leg injuries, abscesses, vaccinations, Coggins tests, colics, births of foals and calves, and spring silliness issues (what am I forgetting)--I assume every vet is in full-on-emergency mode.

Everything is stable here, and looking up.  Salt blocks, meds, bodywork, constant vigils, exercise, stall rest, a little bubble wrap...and a whole bunch of prayers to get my herd through this spring transition.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

More Spring Scares

(Keeping constant vigil on Cowboy. He has taken to resting his hind end against his stall wall during the night. His birthday is coming up: March 7, 1995.)

I'm so happy spring has arrived--sunshine and temps in the 50's-60's--wow!! But with it, injuries have also arrived. Leah had swelling in her fetlock, possibly due to the mud everywhere. She's better now, but still on stall confinement. She is very, very happy in a stall, and it keeps her from overeating.

Unfortunately, a few days ago I noticed some swelling in Tumbleweed's back right.  It was almost imperceptible, and I doubted myself--thinking I was just starting to see leg injuries where they didn't exist. But upon closer inspection, there was a little heat and swelling going on.  He wasn't lame at all, and it went away quickly on its own. 

Still, that was a surprising development, since he had been on stall confinement for his spring safety. I saw the melt and mud, and what happened to Leah, and I didn't want anything to happen to him, so I moved him into the barn last week with turnout only in the arena where there's sand. Who knows how he did it. I'm doing everything I can to keep him in one healthy piece before training in 8 days. Pretty much, I've done everything except bubble-wrap him. Stay sound, Tumbleweed!!

And there was one more sad, spring development, or really, the progression of a recurring struggle with Cowboy's arthritic hips and front left foot: I found him down and unable to get up without my help.

It happened when he was turned out for a few hours during the day. I put him out at 1:00, left to run errands, then returned at 4:00--his dinnertime. (The first thing I do, whenever returning home, is walk strait to my back windows and look at the horses, especially when Cowboy is out for turnout.) I saw Cowboy lying down. (Weird, since it was feeding time, and he never sleeps when he knows I'll be out soon.) I watched for a few minutes and saw him lifting his head, then lying it back down. 

I changed boots quickly and ran outside, towards him. He heard me coming, and tried to lift himself, only to lay back down. When I got to him, he was lying in a somewhat slick spot, but really not that bad--and it was level. I got behind him and pushed on his hips and he jumped right up. By then, my husband had also arrived to help with the SOS, and we inspected, and then walked him out.

He wasn't limping, but he was stiff--which is to be expected.  He was hungry. (Nowadays, he is almost entirely eating Equine Senior.)  He had been on his "off days" for meds.  (My vet wanted me to rotate 7 days on, 7 days off, for as long as possible, to give his kidneys a rest.) I think we're at the point where there will be no "off days."

It was 2 days ago, and I'm still evaluating the situation. There have been no repeat episodes. My farrier always said, keep him moving. You've got to use it or lose it. And, winter has kept him from using it or moving it.  Spring arrived, and he started moving it a lot--perhaps, causing him to be sore.

Today, my plan is to lightly walk Cowboy and do bodywork. He will have turnout in the pasture.

For Tumbleweed, I plan to saddle and hand walk him, load into the trailer, and practice obstacles. I want him to stay calm and use his brain. In fact, I'm going to instruct my trainer to work on that above all else. I want a solid trail horse, so I want her to do everything associated with a working ranch horse.

On the positive side of this spring weather, we're getting in some beautiful hikes. Yesterday, my husband and I did an 8 mile hike along the river, and it was just gorgeous. (We were sore afterward, which gives me extra sympathy for how Cowboy is feeling now that he's moving again.) 

A homeschool group passed us and pointed out all the ladybugs along the trail. We had mistaken them for discoloration on the ground and trees, but there were hordes and hordes and hordes of them everywhere you looked.

The birds were back and chirping away. The geese had also returned, and were bathing, flapping their large wings, and honking.

Welcome back, sunshine!