A bunch of little updates

I have a light morning catching up on email and monitoring chat before I’m off to a funeral (my husband’s uncle who I only met once), so I thought I’d post a few little updates.


Subi looking out his stall window
Best old man

Thankfully it appears he’s come through the cellulitis scare relatively unscathed. We just needed to do the high sweat for 2 days (thanks to me buying enough material for 2 additional days when things looked pretty bad Saturday) and a few extra days of standing bandages. He was VERY against antibiotics and bute (but appreciated the flavored bute being force-fed vs the antibiotic/applesauce force-feeding) but got better with each day. By the last of the 7 days of antibiotics, he was a gentleman about it. Angry, but a gentleman. FYI drenching syringes are the best. He went off his feed for pretty much his entire course of antibiotics but it’s Subi. I’ve learned not to worry about stuff like that. He had hay, carrots, and peppermints, and whatever grain he chose to pick through (he started to eat a little on day 5). He’s back eating again and cleaning his bucket.


Someone got clipped on Saturday and was both incredibly well behaved and incredibly poorly behaved. He loved the attention and he loves getting clipped, but his timer ran out plus I clipped his legs. He had some crud I wanted to get after (turns out it wasn’t on his skin, but I couldn’t know that with yak hair)… I probably should have put him away and finished the legs another day, but… Anyway, I ended up breaking out my small clippers (Jiminy hair has a habit of killing ALL my clippers). Thankfully my wahl 2-speeds were up to the task and didn’t crap out like my Andis 2-speeds… Anyway, we pushed through someone may have gotten to celebrate with a poptart… The other boys ONLY like the brown sugar poptarts so I have a box of some crappy flavor that only Jiminy will eat. He gets them VERY occasionally (usually a half a poptart at a time — 1/4 package) as a treat.

Nay Nay:

I’ve ridden a grand total of once since my lesson. Between Subi and work, I also had emergency dental surgery that sort of knocked me out of commission. And then the weather turned cold and I just didn’t feel like riding Monday or Tuesday of this week.

Nay Nay grazing outside the indoor
super skinny thoroughbred.

The other thing is he’s just been weird? I mean, he’s been trying SO HARD to be good, but tossing his head like crazy at certain times. It’s not a tooth issue as those were done very recently, but it’s something he started doing more after we changed bits. The bit change fixed several issues. He doesn’t root anymore or do the drop and drag tantrum thing and because of it, our leads are SO MUCH BETTER.

That said, I think he hates this bit. Nay is very good at going with the flow, but he definitely doesn’t love it. I’m thinking I should put him back in the old bit and then use this one every few weeks as a tune-up? There are definitely great things that came out of it, but I miss the softness of the plain D. So, we’ll see. Obviously, if nothing changes, that’s not the issue. But, I’m not as relaxed with my hands with this bit because I don’t want to accidentally hit him so I think I’m inadvertently causing an issue too… Granted, the issues are exacerbated in the indoor where more steering is necessary…

Blanket Bars:

I’ve been trying to figure out how to hang/store my blankets. I wanted to get blanket bars, but several places were sold out, I didn’t want bars with bridle hooks (they’ll be facing Jiminy’s stall), I worried that the one on Nay’s door might interfere with the door opening, and certain places kept tacking on oversized shipping fees… Anyway, the cost for what I needed kept jumping to close to $100 OR I had to wait until places had them back in stock… So January. Yes, some were available now, but… I just couldn’t commit.

DIY blanket holders

I ended up going the cheap DIY route. I bought screw eyes, chain, and clips and for less than $30, I had 3 blanket racks for my boys. They may not be the prettiest, but they’re functonal. I can let out the chain if I need to hold more blankets, tighten the chain if I need to hold less, and unclip the chain if I don’t want to have anything on the stall/door front. It’s working out great so far. The entire thing went up in 10 minutes including the use of a level.

The Portagrazer:

Hermione snuggled in a heated blanket
Far cuter than a portagrazer

Early this spring, I bought a portagrazer from someone local for $75 and I’ve regretted it ever since. I hated the thing. I marked that as the worst purchase ever and I’ve been meaning to resell. A month or so ago, I filled it up and tossed it in the shed. Subi went to town. Then, after being terrified of the thing, Nay Nay fell in love too. While won’t use it in the stall, it’s super handy for an extra feeder in the field. Nay Nay spends half the winter (and summer) in the shed sulking because it’s too cold/windy/wet/damp/dark/light/buggy/hot/dry/whatever. He has opinions. I don’t humor him with hay. But, if I’m going to have the portagrazer, I’ll fill it a few times/week. I still find it to be overpriced for what it is, but for $75, it MIGHT end up worth it…

Well, crap.

It’s just about 1pm and I’m about ready for bed. Or a nap. That pretty much explains my day.

I went out to feed this morning and found that Subi hadn’t touched his grain last night nor had he eaten his alfalfa cubes (there was an indentation so he had a bite or 2, but that was about it). And, he just looks, blah. Lethargic and blah. He was a little blah last night, but he’s generally been blah when it’s dark outside. But, he’s been eating so I didn’t think much of it. While it was strange that he went to his hay vs his grain, he is Subi so he does strange things on an irregular regularity.

So, I searched for my thermometer which disappeared in my hay room (that I desperately need to clean) so I donated mine to the cause (add a new human thermometer to the shopping list) and bam. 103.2. Just a touch (er, a lot) high. Subi runs around 99. So, the temperature explained his behavior. At that point I also noticed that his left hind was very stocked up, but there wasn’t much (any) heat and he wasn’t bothered by ME messing with it.

Before I administered banamine, I put a call into the on-call vet who immediately suspected anaplasmosis, one of the most common cause of fevers in our area. She said she’d be out to look him over and give IV antibiotics in about 30 minutes (we’re still not yet at 7 am).

When she arrived (around 7:30), she still thought anaplasmosis, but kept looking at that leg. He was definitely more reactive when she was messing with it. Now, it’s Subi and he definitely lets me do more than he lets others so… ? Her first thought was the anaplasmosis with secondary cellulitis. And, the initial plan because IV antibiotics plus a high sweat for his leg. But, before we did anything, she reached out to my regular vet.

He may or may not have tried to take out the vet while getting wrapped…

After conversing, they decided that they were going with primary cellulitis simply due to the unilateral swelling whereas anaplasmosis would likely not display with unilateral swelling (swelling would be seen bilaterally). So, cellulitis seemed more likely. So, we’re starting with SMZs, Tri Dex paste (Trichlormethiazide and dexamethasone), and bute plus wrapping. And since Subi is the WORLD’S BEST PATIENT, life will be fun…

Wish me luck. If you never see another post, you all know why.

The boys are hanging out inside today, but as long as his fever is down, they can head outside tonight (he’ll get a standing bandage tonight). Tomorrow, one more high sweat then hopefully no more wrapping and/or just standing bandages.

Rogue left leg

I had my first lesson back yesterday.

The day was GORGEOUS, especially for November. 65 and sunny. Seriously. Lovely.

Nay was pretty happy and I was…not. I was spooky and reactive to a reactive horse in the ring. I once point when Nay was looking in the direction on this horse but… past it, I mentioned my tension and fear and my trainer was honest. Nay isn’t even looking at the horse, he’s watching the horses in the field beyond the ring who were…drinking water. Yes, I was spooking. Typical me.

Things to stop doing:

  1. Spooking at horses in the ring. It’s bad enough when a horse spooks, we don’t need humans spooking too.

But whatever, this horse scared me. And I was bothered. My trainer basically told me to pick up the canter, she didn’t care what lead I got she just wanted to canter. I wanted to micromanage to get my brain focused on something. Anyway, the horse finished his session and walked and I relaxed (wtf Sarah), pointed to the corner, and evidently picked up the nicest left lead canter transition that my trainer had seen me do since we started having lead issues. So we cantered on half the ring (I refused to go down to the far end until I felt comfortable) and we had no issues (Nay isn’t actually bothered when horses leave the ring either) and that was that.

Anyway, supposedly I need to stop micromanaging because it’s driving Nay crazy. Shocking, right? Lol.

Things to stop doing:

  1. Spooking at horses in the ring.
  2. Micromanaging my horse. This drives him crazy and annoys him immensely. I mean, it annoys me when supervisors micromanage me…

But then there was the right lead. Before we picked up the right lead, I mentioned I’d been struggling. Not necessarily picking up the lead, but just cantering because my right leg feels weak. Supposedly this shouldn’t matter, but I continued that my left leg feels so strong that I feel like I am counter bending.

Evidently, my right leg IS NOT weak, but rather my left leg is the problem. Turns out, my right leg is in the right place, but it feels ineffective as a result of my left leg. I’m riding off of the inside of the calf of my right leg and my toe is pointed forward on my right foot. This is good and correct. This is also why I sometimes have issues getting my right spur on vs left spur because my legs/feet are in two completely separate positions. Shocking, right?

My left leg? I’m riding off the back of my leg/calf which is causing my heel to grip into Nay’s side. I’m also sitting into my left heel which has caused my body to shift over to the left side of my saddle. This makes for my left leg to feel extraordinarily tight, but it turns out, it’s not tight in the right place. My left leg does NOT move. My right leg, on the other hand (foot?), does move/swing, but that is in part because I’ve shifted so far over in the saddle that I can’t keep my leg connected.

Things to stop doing:

  1. Spooking at horses in the ring.
  2. Micromanaging my horse.
  3. Riding with the back of my left calf and sitting on left side of my saddle.

So in order to fix this, we started by first having me sit in all different positions to feel the difference. This was weird. Nay thought we were crazy. We then also had me only focus on the damn left leg and pointing that toe forward which theoretically fixed the calf issue. Every few strides, I was to look down and I identify if I looked straight. Through all of this, Nay was very curious if he really should trot or just walk or stand still. But, he does understand a good cluck and shuffled forward even if confused by my ever-changing position… WTF Mom was his opinion of things…

My homework is to buy some velcro (or procure some from my basement because I’m sure I have some) and velcro my left stirrup to the girth for a few rides. The goal is the build some new muscle memory but also allow the stirrup to safely detach when necessary. I also need to shorten my right stirrup which has been feeling long thanks to sitting on the left side of my saddle. And just work on trotting and cantering until this feels normal.

Overall though, the comments were that Nay looked happy and relaxed. He does get a bit tense/reactive when we make tight turns whereas he’s 100% fine with all straight lines and sweeping turns. So, we need to look into that to determine if it’s an actual problem, muscle weakness, or just some overall body soreness. He’s not lame, just does some head tossing. He used to head toss a lot more but as he got stronger, he stopped so we’re guessing he’s just a little sore as he’s developing muscle. But, we’re also going to pull blood since I haven’t done that in a while and it never hurts to do a regular check for Lyme. And ultimately, if he needs some short-term maintenance, he needs some maintenance. Building strength and muscle is hard. Though fixing my position will help…

Time off and Finding fun again

I’ve spent the last few weeks just feeling burned out. Ever since Fair Hill, or honestly, even before Fair Hill, I’ve been struggling with the motivation to ride. Then the comments about Nay’s weight combined with the weather combined with neverending vertigo/vestibular migraine combined with life, I’ve just pretty much given myself permission to take a break.

Until this weekend, I’ve averaged less than 1 ride for most of the last 30 days. And you know what? The world didn’t end. I need to remind myself that if I take time off, the world doesn’t end.

I’m still struggling to find motivation, but there’s less… pressure?

I also pulled off my spurs and set down my crop.

You see, my leg was doing something funky and it appeared that I kept pushing a spur into Nay consistently. I hadn’t been doing it until I started and then I suddenly couldn’t stop. Nay would pick up his canter and then react every time the spur touched him. NOW, he didn’t buck, he didn’t crow hop (other than the time he really moved his hind end over and hit the wall and reacted to that…twice), but just was unhappy. I tried to pay extra close attention to my leg which caused me to mess with my hands which caused me to get extra tense which caused me to not enjoy riding. I was so hyper-focused on my damn leg that nothing else worked. So that wasn’t working.

So, when I went to ride the other weekend, I pulled my spurs and decided to just ride. And I’m going with that.

I’m also letting Nay Nay play in the indoor pre-ride when at all possible. He thinks it’s fun and since he’s 1000% perfect on the lunge line (even though it’s not his favorite thing), it’s nice for him to let loose. I don’t like him playing on the line, but I don’t mind him playing in the indoor. And, while I was nervous after turning the indoor into a turnout place, just because he plays in there, he was actually a gentleman when I rode inside last weekend (for the first half of our ride).

This weekend I actually rode twice.

Saturday, he was a madman playing. I’ve NEVER seen him buck more in his life. And when someone opened the door to see how long we’d be inside so they could bring in a green horse (we were fine since all Nay needs in 5-6 minutes and they hadn’t even groomed or tacked up), he took that as an excuse to launch into yet ANOTHER bucking and galloping fit. Of course, I didn’t video at all on Saturday.

He was great for his ride outside. We cantered forever and I realized just how weak I am to right. I need to work on that…

Sunday, Nay got to play again but was far less energized. He was spooky but tired from the day before. Nonetheless, he was good boy other than his slow-motion spook the burn pile at the canter — the same burn pile we did NOT spook at while it was still smoldering the day before… But, once I made him stop and look, he was fine.

We ended with 4 jumps. We trotted an easy outside line that I completely messed up the first time, trying to hold when there was NOTHING to hold to… Nay still jumped everything and looked back and me after like I was a fool… But, we did it again, I let go, and life was good. We also did an easy diagonal line which we also did the day before and he was foot perfect. Considering we haven’t jumped in… a while, we ended there.

I will say, cantering without spurs is OK. Nay is picking up the left lead without issues and the right lead has been going pretty well. Right lead issues are mostly me, but he is still getting it. If we don’t get it, it’s mostly lack of pace and a nice pony kick seems to help. Honestly, he’s VERY out of shape now and it’s nice.

As for his weight, I asked my farrier on Saturday who looked at him and told me he’s fine and I’ll never get 200lbs on him. He also didn’t see severely underweight. Unlike the vet, my farrier actually likes some weight on horses and said he looked great. He’s not one to throw out compliments. He is the one person who told me it was time to put Hayley down years ago… He’ll tell me the truth even if I don’t want to hear it. He took his time looking at Nay, pointed out his round butt, how his ribs are completely covered and unless you press hard, you can’t feel them let alone see them. He’s also very much a thoroughbred and will never look like a warmblood — some thoroughbreds can look like warmbloods/quarter horses, most don’t. He sees a lot of horses and said he wouldn’t be embarrassed to take Nay anywhere. So. Yeah.