ISO: Ulcer preventatives?

Happy Friday! I have a lesson recap, but I’m feeling really lazy this morning and will type that up later… so I’ll get that posted on Monday.

Anyway, Subi is finishing up 2 months of ulcer treatment (I went the nexium/Esomeprazole route) and it really seems to have helped. He’s inhaling his hay, finishing all his grain (except this morning when he didn’t eat breakfast but a neighbor’s dog was around so I think that had something to do with it), and generally just seems…better.

I am probably safe just to take him off once he’s finished, but I would like to put him on some sort of preventative. So, u-guard or something. Anything you like in particular? Suggestions appreciated! Inexpensive and palatable if possible…

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So much happier these days!

 

Ranger Recap: getting back into the swing of things

I took the week off of work and a side bonus was I was able to move my evening lesson to Thursday morning. It was a gorgeous day. Sun, light breeze, and relatively warm (well, it would be, it was still in the 40s when I rode). Regardless, it’s SO NICE to ride when you’re not stressing about work!

We warmed up on the flat and my legs were not cooperating. Ranger was sleepy so I was finding other methods to get him going. Like using my shoulders to post. Needless to say, this was NOT successful. Eventually though, I figured out how to ride, but the shoulder thing came back to haunt me here and there.

Over fences, we started on a circle over the jump on the end, working on pace and distance. It is SO NICE to ride when Ranger hasn’t been ridden yet. Typically he just does a beginner lesson, but still. He is SO MUCH more responsive. Anyway, the fences were easy and we hit our spots nicely.

Next, we started over a few mini courses. Basically, down our outside single (away from the road), up the inside line, and down the outside line. The outside to the inside were fine, perfect even. The trick with the inside was to maintain pace as we were passing the gate and the lines were forward moving. The outside line was…less great as I didn’t have a straight line to the in and took a long spot, but the out was nice. On reapproach, the course was good.

We did a few more courses, ended with our outside single towards the road around to the straw bales, the inside line, outside line, and inside plain straw bales.  The first time we did the course it was pretty nice except we didn’t maintain a consistent pace. We got a little quick heading to the first inside single (straw bales) though for the most part it was decent.

Being the idiot that I was, I decided to attempt the course again, and have video proof of my worst course of the day. Ranger was tired. I was tired. And well… We ran into traffic heading to the first jump because the only horse in the ring didn’t realize we were heading towards the fence and then I wasted lots of energy circling. By that point, Ranger was dead and… Yeah. But at least there is media? And pretty boots?

Sorry Ranger…

Happy Birthday Old Man!

Today is Subi’s 22nd birthday! After a rough winter (and being off most of last year), he’s feeling super sound and I’m starting to wonder why I’m not riding him… I mean, he’s sound. He’s REALLY sound. REALLY REALLY REALLY sound. And then I watch him careen around the field and come to my senses. THAT’S why.

*plus, I doubt he’d stay sound if I were to ride him. There’s no way I could just hop on for a light ride… lots of lunging would be required.

We didn’t celebrate this morning. In fact, he was reprimanded for poor behavior (not rearing like a few weeks/month ago, but rather forgetting his manner because…grass. That I can handle though words were exchanged).  Happy birthday?

Anyway, without further ado, some pictures of the old man!

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Ranger Recap: Drowning.

It’s warmed up here in the mid atlantic but the rain is back. We had 2 glorious mostly rain free weeks (so, there was some rain, but mostly dry) weeks. And then yesterday happened. My paddock and yard that had begun to dry so nicely? Yeah no. SO MUCH MUD. I’m drowning. Sinking is probably a better word. It is AWFUL.

So, after being washed away walking from building to building on campus yesterday (stupid college campus with terrible drainage and work schedule that left me with meetings on the other side of campus), I convinced myself that I really DID need to ride. So I ventured out to ride. Last week? We were outside in the outdoor for the first time since last year. Last night? Back inside. Yuck. At times the rain was so loud I couldn’t here instructions. So I made my own… Completely fair, right?

Anyway, it was humid (rain) so Ranger was slow and behind my leg a bit so… fun. Spent time working on that and getting his head up. He just wanted to drop and pull. Not so much in a drop and drag kind of way, but more so in a get heavy and fall on his face? My least favorite Ranger ride, especially when I’m struggling to keep him in front of my leg.

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We started off just working on a large pattern. Down the purple single (towards the in gate) and back around away from the gate to the Swedish oxer (orange jump on ugly diagram). We repeated this 3-4 times until we maintained a forward GOING pace to both jumps. Supposedly in his previous lesson (he did a 1/2 hour with a kid to who kicks and causes Ranger to gallop) he was bolting to the single, but mostly I just had to worry about getting him to carry himself. No drop and drag was happening. Initially despite getting to the fences at nice spots, we lacked…power, but once I found a better canter, everything improved.

Next we reversed the pattern. So up the single away from the in gate (tight turn to the purple single), down down the Swedish oxer towards the in gate and continuing to the outside line (purple on diagram) in the 6. All would have been fine, but I got in my head because I started listening to chatter. Find the straight line. Leg, power, 2 hands. And got in my head. So, Ranger noped out of it when he felt me not ride. We circled, I used my inside leg this time and all was good. We continued around, did the whole pattern, and everything was good.

We did another course or 2 and I completely forget what they were… Sorry. I can remember the courses my lesson mate rode? Not helpful…

To end on, purple single away from the in gate, around to the Swedish, outside line again, around to the skinny (green single). I HATE skinnies, but since I actually rode, it was fine. We had done the outside line 3-4 time by this point, but Ranger tried to NOPE out of it and I had to use so much leg/had to keep him on course. He as a little annoyed at me but thankfully all was good. He was SO hoping I wasn’t paying attention by that point (he was tired), but…

Over all, it was a good lesson. But my legs were dead. I paid getting off and manage to pull something in my hip. Then, overnight got a charley horse in my left calf. So I’m a mess today… Need more water and probably less coffee but…

Defeated.

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The 3 amigos on a sunny Sunday

Defeat.

I was hoping that my vet appointment would bring answers. Instead, it just leaves more questions.

Subi definitely has cataracts, but the conclusion is that he has enough vision (basically they’re in the center of each eye, worse on the right, but similar in each eye) that he can see and it shouldn’t impact his peripheral vision…

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Jiminy was convinced I had food.

But, at the same time, he is acting like he’s seeing ghosts so they could be freaking him out and the vet agreed that he IS sensitive. We’ve seen it before. Something bothers him and he has an unexplained reaction. A tooth is SLIGHTLY sharp, he stops eating. He is chilly, he shivers uncontrollably. He doesn’t like the taste of something in his feed, he won’t eat for days even if the offending item is removed. He’s dramatic. This could just be that. His eyes could be playing a role and making him uncomfortable and he doesn’t know how to deal.

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Idiot boys just keep staring.

It could be something else. So, since he’s doing pretty well with the daylight, we’re holding off additional tests until we need them. Next stop? We’ll draw blood and test for lyme though he’s showing no sign of any other symptoms… We’re also pulling him off his equioxx for now since he’s feeling REALLY good and he doesn’t need to feel that good on a daily basis. Honestly, I don’t need him bucking, rearing, and bolting around the field like a freak regularly. He can run around but are the antics necessary? I’ll keep it on hand for when his arthritis acts up and/or the ground gets hard. But, now that it’s warmer and the ground is soft? The vet agreed we can hold off.

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Jiminy comes to visit.

Otherwise? He got his teeth and a combo vaccine. His teeth were in really good shape. Surprisingly good shape since he was due in August and we both decided to hold off because the weather was gross and hot. But, to be honest, he probably didn’t need to get floated. It was good to get him done, but very little was necessary. Despite the drugs, he expressed his disapproval. After almost keeling over drunk last time around (he actually almost fell over from his dose), he didn’t get as much so he was barely drunk this time. Just enough to do his teeth without drama (but still with protests). He has NO issue with the float, but HATES the stupid head thing that keeps his mouth open… lol.

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Freaks in action. 

Anyway, I’m feeling defeated. And I’ll be feeling broke when I get the bill. Lol. Batt and Jiminy got their vaccine and all is good in the world. Batty is in good weight?! And Jiminy is doing fine as long as he doesn’t gain (has ONE stupid fat pocket though the rest of his weight is perfect).

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Waiting for the vet with me this morning

That’s my story. I quit.

Freaks.

I have the big guys in the round pen this morning waiting for Subi’s 11:30 vet appointment. I thought this would be an easy solution. But, no, they’re freaks. They’re lunatics. They’re idiots. They’ve never seen the round pen before.

But, since I need sedation to get them moved, they’ll stay there until I transfer them to their stalls and Subi gets drugged. Idiot boys.

Collective age? 40.

Really?

Grow up.

Update tomorrow post vet regarding his eyes. He’s also getting his teeth done so I’m going to enjoy the sedative…

All is quiet*

A non-update update to basically say all is quiet*.

The vet is scheduled to come out on Monday to check on Subi and do his teeth. Hopefully we’ll have a better ideas as to what’s going on with his eyes (cataracts, uveitis, etc.).

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Biscuit wearing a scarf just because

That said, we seem to have come to an understanding. My trainer suggested leading him with my cellphone’s flashlight so I tried that last Thursday and when I shined the light on the ground, he immediately dropped his head to follow the light and his body relaxed. Since then? Everything has improved. It’s as if I finally GET what’s going on. Since Sunday (well, Saturday since I brought them in early), I’ve also had daylight on my side and he’s been even easier to deal with. Relaxed, happy, and comfortable.

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Cutest Hermione Dog Ever

In fact,  we haven’t had any issues since all of our leading now happens during daylight hours. I do notice though that he tries to identify ever sound he hears. Stop. Stare. Breathe. Reassure. Walk on. He’s reared once since Thursday when he spooked at something (I was carrying a bucket of food AND rushing AND setting us up for failure) and jumped once when Batty spooked (a separate time), but otherwise? He’s been great. He did walk into the barn wall 2 nights ago so there’s definitely some vision stuff going on. Still, now that I know I’m dealing with something and he seems to get that I’m helping him? Everything is working out.

I also removed the chain and switched him to this snazzy new halter and he’s a lot happier. I wasn’t happy with the rope halter by itself (getting it on and off quickly was an issue plus I had some other issues), but this seems to be the best of both worlds. Overpriced, yes, but definitely worth it.

I also had my first lesson back on Ranger last week. After a month without lessons (just riding) it was nice to have instruction, but my brain was on overload. I did better with my lines vs singles AFTER lines. So… I had issues maintaining pacing. When I rode on my own I just worked on singles and MAYBE connecting a couple singles together, but…

I also did a thing and bought a new pair of boots…

*By quiet I mean sort of kind of not dramatic but not sleepy either? OK?

“Why can’t you see, are you afraid to be exposed to the demons around you?”

Long and in need of advice… Pictures at bottom.

I’ve hesitated posting again until I know what’s going on. I need to get the vet out, but, with daylight savings times beginning Sunday, I want additional data before I call.

You see, things have gotten worse since I last wrote. A little worse. Then a lot worse. And by a lot worse, I mean I cried for days and thinking about how bad the other night was, I’m almost crying now.

Over the last week, Subi was OK. Not great, but OK. If I walked him in as much light as possible (under the house flood lights), he was pretty good. Not great, but fine. Over the weekend I tried to bring him in during the daylight. Things were fine. A rear or 2, but I ignored it and we were fine. Fine. Everything was fine.

The Monday happened.

He was on edge from the moment I put his halter and chain on. I’ve been using the chain because I don’t feel like I have enough control if I need it without. I have used the chain, but mostly it’s just there. We had weather overnight, but that was about it. Cold front was coming it. But that’s happened before. He was a jerk. But whatever. I got him out of the field and I wasn’t there. I had zero control.

I tried my backing and halting. Things escalated. If I touched his head, things escalated. Suddenly all that was happening was rearing and bolting. He wouldn’t stop rearing. Or bolting. He was trotting circles around me. He tripped over the septic tank viewer things and reared again. And again. And again. Somehow we kept moving and rearing and moving. I gave up trying to get his focus. The more I tried to correct or redirect, the more the behavior escalated. It was like he was in a blind panic. I don’t know how I kept a hold of him. It was like I wasn’t there.

Somehow I got him in his stall. Somehow I got the halter and lead off of him. Somehow I got the door closed. I stayed freaking calm until all that happened. No idea how and then started bawling my eyes out.

He didn’t get his liner on that night.

Next morning? Fine. Daylight. A little looky, but fine.

The following night? It was like I wasn’t there again but I kept his feet moving and didn’t give him a chance to react to anything. We just moved. So, no explosions.

Morning, fine. But, he’s staring at stuff more.

Last night? We moved them before we had dinner buckets ready to get them in while we had daylight. He spooked slightly when my dog made a noise in the field, but it was just a start and shudder (no rear or jump) and he was fine walking to his stall. But, we had daylight. Not a lot, but some.

This morning? I took pictures of his eye. He also craned his entire neck around to look at Batt. The opposite way that you would think would be normal.

One of his eyes was looking cloudy, but I didn’t see it before… One was looking fine.

I’ll be getting the vet out, but… help. Am I seeing something? I know they’re not the greatest pictures…

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Taming the dragon

I’m now convinced that Subi’s problem is energy. Too much energy. He’s exploding out of his skin thanks to winter, mud, and rain and I’m paying the price. Though I am keeping up with ulcer treatment just in case and he is eating hay again so there is that.

Friday night, he reared, again, caught his hoof in the lead rope, again, clipped his hoof on my arm, nearly knocked me over, and got loose. I told him to woah and he stood stock still until I reclaimed him and we walked the rest of the way to the barn, but he was still on edge. Up until the rear, he wasn’t good, but was reluctantly listening as we halted and backed and walked (rinse/repeat). Batt was just as pissy in front of us and eventually, revolution. Once in his stall, I told my husband I should just put him down because he’s a dangerous asshole. Not my finest moment. My husband, who actually dislikes Subi (he’s scared of him after getting kicked 7 years ago, or more actually getting behind him when he bucked), was left to talk me out of that. Michele and my friend Sandra did was well…

Close reenactment of Subi as a dragon. 

After a decent night’s sleep and a better attitude (anything is better, right?), we turned out in the morning and I thought, why don’t I keep leading him around the house until he’s bored? Haha. Yeah ok. Once Batt was in the field, Subi realized that we were going away from friends and reared as Batt let out the biggest buck I have ever seen from him (winter usually results in lame Batt… this is strange). So I abandoned that plan and walked him to the driveway instead where we couldn’t see friends and he was fine. We went to the barn for a crop but spend the better part of 30 minutes working on the driveway.

When you’re poorly behaved, your mean mom makes you work in your blanket…
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Hello! I’m not in Kansas anymore…

We trotted up and down a couple times, we did walk-trot-halt transitions, we did turns on the forehand. We even chatted with my neighbor for a while. Considering he hasn’t been up to the road (other than when he got loose) in years, he was completely relaxed. Go figure. Once he got impatient (too much chatting) we backed down the entire driveway (it’s long) working ob straightness. Then more transitions. Finally, I got bored so we went for a hike my small patch of woods where I used to use as a ring. It’s overgrown and there are trees down and branches ever. We walked through brush, over logs, and explored.

 

 

So much to look at, so many dead leaves to eat.
Poles, logs, and posing

The only conversation we had was at the end when we disagreed about crossing the 2′ log. Subi wanted to cross, I valued my life too much. He sulked.

The log in question and Subi’s disgruntled face… Idiot horse.
walking over all sorts of stuff. keeping those feet moving. Of course this log wasn’t THE LOG he wanted to go over because mean mom…

He’s been very good since. He was exhausted after our adventure and I’m going to try and get him out today. Though it’ll be abbreviated as I do have to get to work eventually and also gale force winds. Still, it’s nice to see what a little work does for Subi.

Maybe I’ll keep him around…