Feral.

Nay Nay has been on his omeprazole and sucralfate for 11 days now. He’s still not eating hay in his stall the way I’d like and I’m trying to figure that one out, but over all, he seems… calmer? When I’d turn him out in the morning pre-medication, he’d was stressed? And would rush out of his stall, occasionally bucking and acting otherwise miserable. He loves his stall so it wasn’t an “OMG I need out” but rather some sort of stress response. That is gone. I still ask him to woah before walking out, but he’s back to leaving calmly and quietly.

His face says it all

He IS eating hay outside. And he is very happy to eat his almost daily lunchtime/snack mash. He gets it as long as I’m home which is about 5x/week. Anyway, for a horse that REFUSES beet pulp or any other soaked feed, Nay LOVES British Horse Feed’s Fibre Beet. It’s ridiculously expensive, but worth it if he’ll eat it. I typically mix with carrots, peppermints, and some grain, but I actually wonder if he’ll eat it without grain… because it’s low starch/sugar it’s also safe for laminitis prone horses/ponies so I feel safe giving Jiminy a small pan while feeding Subi and Nay. The boys RUN to the fence for their mash and Nay makes a racket screaming with excitement. I should really video…

This past Sunday, I decided it was time to put Nay back into light work. No riding yet, but some time on the lunge line? Nice, easy work. Ha.

Jokes on me.

Nay was… feral. I ended up letting him run around the indoor before I could even consider lunging.

Then he became more feral.

Out of control really. I mean, he was crazy, but not unhandle-able if that makes sense? He was OK–ish until I decided there was more space on the far end of the arena. You see, towards the gate, the footing is super deep. Super deep footing means Nay decides to cross canter because he hates extra deep footing. Far end of the arena there is just extra space before jumps start and the footing is more even. So we headed down there and Nay’s time went off.

NOT INNOCENT.

You see, I wasn’t asked for much. All Nay needed to do was move forward. He got to choose the gait so he could walk, trot, OR canter. What he couldn’t do was spin, kick out, stop, or try and run me down. What did he try to do? Spin, bolt, stop, kick at me (not actually kick me), and other scare tactics. See, Nay doesn’t try to be bad, but he wants to scare me enough to get out of work. So what did I do? Make him work harder. He fought harder, he worked harder. And started screaming. But eventually, we got somewhere. And every time I thought, good, we can end! He’d throw a tantrum and we’d start back up…

Wheee!
he’s very lucky he’s cute..

Eventually, I had an exhausted Nay trotting around (screaming) but trotting consistently enough that I was able to halt trot halt and end.

I felt bad as he had sweat dripping from his eyelids, but that was on him.

A trip in the barn and a quick visit with friends (ie: OMG there are HORSES HERE!) did a lot to improve his mood and we were able to return to the indoor to walk and cool out. Nay REALLY wanted to roll (he LOVES to roll) but I was able to redirect his attention by asking him to walk over all the jumps in the indoor. With his attention refocused he was MUCH happier and cooled out quickly.

In the end, despite being feral, he seemed to come out of it looking OK and not overly stressed by the situation. So I don’t feel overly bad by introducing work back into Nay’s life.

What’s going on with Nay Nay?

Ah the post I didn’t really want to write and the post that is…lacking information?

The short story is Nay Nay just isn’t… quite right. Something is off and I just can’t quite pinpoint what’s going on.

I woke him up from his nap the other day…

A few weeks ago, he started leaving behind his grain…sometimes. This isn’t exactly weird. He’s not the best eater and hasn’t ever been, but it’s something I keep an eye on. Typically he eats some breakfast and then finishes his breakfast at dinner. But some mornings he just eats his treats and doesn’t even touch anything else. Most of the time he eats everything overnight, but once every 5/6 days, he doesn’t clean everything up.

Then he started leaving behind his alfalfa. Like not even touching his hay bag of alfalfa. Before this he’d always eat his prized alfalfa. He has a feeder that I ended up taking the lid off of because his hay eating habits were…bad. But then they got worse. So we switched from one bag (standard slow feed bag to a general bag with a huge opening) to another and he ate alfalfa again. Part of me wrote this off as it coincided with a new bale, but then again, nothing is that simple. Then last week, he stopped his alfalfa again. I started tossing it on the rest of his hay. Some days he’d eat it, sometime not.

“Mom! I’m sleeping!”

Outside he just appears… off. He’s been spooking and not himself. Keep in mind, throughout all of this, I’ve also been trying to get healthy again as I was really, really sick. So, diagnostics have been delayed. I plan to get blood pulled soon just to see. But he’s also the same sweet horse?

I’ve added lunch any day I’m home. Lunch is a fibre beet mash with treats (yes, we just add carrots, cookies, and candy to everything) and grain. I thought I’d see if he’d eat it even though fibre beet is $$$$$$. Nay HATES soaked feed. Interestingly enough, he LOVES this stuff. I don’t want to add it to his breakfast/dinner as I’m pretty sure he’ll refuse to eat it in his feed bucket because my luck, but as a supplement, it’s been great. He definitely marches to fence when he sees me walk outside during the day looking for his mash. So, that’s one positive.

Still the sweetest face

That also made me wonder if he had a tooth bothering him. So I scheduled the dentist as Subi was due anyway and she came out yesterday. She did a quick check of Jiminy (he’s good) and a thorough exam for Nay (so thankful for an awesome dentist who will check my horses! And did a super thorough exam when she heard my concerns). That said, she said his teeth were fine AND no evidence of foxtail either (so I have nice hay) so his issues aren’t teeth related. But, while we were waiting for Subi to get sleepy (his dorm gel was taking a touch longer than I thought), we all observed him.

He spent a lot of time snacking on his chopped TC baled alfalfa and definitely preferred that over anything else (he’s also been picking at ultra pricey timothy). Anyway, everyone agreed it’s likely gut related. I ordered him 40 days of omeprazole/ulcergard, but I’m waiting for it to come in since online pricing was cheaper than local, but I need to wait. I could scope, but he gets so stressed with the scoping/food pulling that I’d rather wait if I can…

If I treat plus pull blood, maybe I’ll have a better idea what’s going on? I’m not sure what brought all of this on either. Nay hates winter and he’s been out of work… Stressing plus change of routine? I have no idea.

The one with the steroids…

I’m completely without horse content right now so instead the medical chronicles of… me continue.

But at least Nay Nay is cute?

This is the story of my unintentional steroid withdrawal.

Where we last left off I was in the midst of a major asthma flare and awaiting a consult with a pulmonologist. I’m still waiting. I go later this month. But, I saw my PCP and got some new medication and more dexamethasone and started to breathe again. The dexamethasone has some crazy taper (because as most of you know you can’t just stop steroids) and I wrote it out of my refrigerator and checked it off every day after I took my morning and evening dose.

All was well.

Until it wasn’t.

You see, the steroid taper took in account that I was on steroids for 14 days. This was a high dose and tapered me down to what was acceptable to cut off cold turkey after 14 days. It did NOT account for the fact that I had already been on steroids for 14 days prior… Yeah.

Subi had to get his neck cover customized because Nay Nay likes to undo velcro…

So, when I took my last dose (I was so freaking excited because I can only take steroids for so long before my body has enough), I started to feel really, really, really off. In fact, it was really, really bad.

I initially blamed the brain fog on the fact that I hadn’t been sleeping. I mean, brain fog comes with lack of sleep, right? But, then it got worse.

On Tuesday, I tried to write an email and my first attempt was… not necessarily in English. I mean they were words, but they meant nothing. I took me over an hour to resort them until I could create a paragraph that I could actually send to colleagues. And things went downhill from there. I sat at my desk crying while I tried to work and accomplished very little. It was just… hard.

Then I woke up with the most horrific body aches I have ever experienced. Ibuprofen didn’t touch them. My skin hurt. My hands hurt. Walking hurt. Moving hurt. Thinking hurt. My clothing hurt. Everything hurt. I ended up telling my boss I needed the rest of the week off. I covered my chat shift until 10am and then logged off for the week which was the best thing I could have done for myself.

During those 2 hours I worked, I basically consulted Dr. Google (yes, I know) and some of my actual medical resources and realized I was going through steroid withdrawal. While I suspected it the day before, the body aches confirmed it. I spent all of Wednesday trying to push through it cold turkey. And then I nearly passed out. Yeah. Withdrawal is scary as all hell.

Come Thursday a decision was made to reintroduce steroids at a very low dose.

Some days the boys meet me at the gate. Other days they make me walk to the shed and retrieve them… Yesterday? I had to walk to them.

So, yeah. I actually wrote most of this Friday (?) night? And then started to feel terrible again and put down my computer until today, Monday. I’m actually doing pretty well now, but brain fog is still a thing. I am working again, but stuff takes a lot longer than it should!

Anyway, all I can say is maybe one winter I’ll post actual horse content vs my struggling with illness! And just think, what interesting side effects do animals have after being on medication? If only they could talk…

Struggle bus.

Always happy to hang out and enjoy life

Interestingly, this post is NOT about Nay Nay (or Subi or Jiminy). The boys are fine. This post is about me.

It’s January. And for the 3rd year in a row, I’m struggling.

Being asthmatic sucks. Seriously.

It appears I can’t survive January. This month just doesn’t agree with me (yes, there have been other months that I’ve had similar issues, but January has been by far the worst).

At the end of December, I started to struggle to breathe again. The temperatures finally started to drop and my body said nope. I took it easy because it was cold. I was giving Nay some time off after his weird bought of ouchiness. And honestly? Some days were too cold to do anything anyway. Yet despite taking it easy, stuff got worse.

Always holding down the couch with me

I hit the medical professionals for the first time on January 10th. My PCP couldn’t see me so I tried Urgent Care at their advice. I wasn’t bad, but my numbers were dropping. And I thought maybe if someone took me seriously, I could get ahead of it.

Bad selfies but that’s what we’ve got around here

It turns out when you tell urgent care you can’t really breathe, they push you to the front of the line. And it was good. While the doctor wasn’t helpful, she gave me an RX for steroids (I’m extra complicated as I’m allergic to prednisone) and a combo-nebulizer medication that typically helps when I enter a flare-up. I figured good, I’ll get ahead of this.

Nope. The dose of dexamethasone was pretty low and just sort of kept my levels from falling further while I relied more and more on the nebulizer.

Thursday of the same week, I found myself at my PCP as I started to feel more crappy and my steroids were running out. I didn’t see the asthma specialist (she’s not a specialist, but she’s done a decent job helping me in the past), but rather someone else who…was less skilled with asthma. More steroids but it took a while to get her to keep me on dex vs introducing another steroid. Allergies. Know your allergies folks.

Except, she ordered a taper pak vs a straight number of pills (create your own pack if you will) and the pharmacy was out of stock. Another PCP provider at the office called in a new script (almost called in PREDNISONE OMG until my allergy came up) and gave me the lowest freaking dose possible. Over the weekend, my numbers dropped dramatically and I debated each day a trip to the hospital. But with covid and lung issues, that didn’t seem ideal.

And then my heart rate became semi-crazy. See, steroids plus insane use of nebulizer meds… Yeah. My resting heart rate was at times 120bpm…

Cats are also useless

Finally, on Thursday my numbers tanked. I still had decent oxygen saturation which is the only reason I never hit the ER. I managed to get in with PCP again AND was able to see the PCP who has treated my asthma. She took one look at me and said we needed to overhaul my entire regiment. It’s amazing how you can be in such a bad state and have someone say a couple words and feel instantly like things will be OK?

It’s Sunday now and I’m on 13 days of high dose dexamethasone (the taper for this requires some a page of instructions) which isn’t ideal or safe to be doing even yearly, but I’m slowly improving. I’m trying to cut the nebulizer out some and my heart rate is stabilizing. I have a new inhaled corticosteroids which also seems to be helping as well (old one was useless). So yeah. Progress is being made. My body feels like it’s been through war though.

My husband has been doing most of the horse chores and I’ve been jumping in when I can. I miss hanging out with my boys, but the cold air just hurts, even masked. Winter is hard.

I do see a pulmonologist (finally) next month so hopefully we can find some long term treatment plan that will keep me from this annual January slump.

Brief update

Where to start, where to start?

Why we can’t have nice things

The short story is there is not much to say? Nay has more or less been on vacation since my last post. I just wanted to rest his hind end from his mystery lameness what mostly subsided the next day other than some shortness. I had planned to bring him back to work last weekend with some nice, quiet walking, but it was freezing and I decided against it. Yesterday was warmer and I was on vacation (it’s just been COLD, like too cold for me) and I decided to give riding a try. It was fine. He’s basically sound.

fancy in his new bareback pad

Longer story? It’s cold and my asthma sucks and he’s basically sound, but he now has a fat hind leg. Completely different spot than before. Trots sound, just a fat leg. I don’t know, I give up. He’s not bothered by it either. I’m assuming at this point that spending all his free time standing in the shed and/or avoiding hard frozen ground has left him stocking up. The fat leg came down after some walking, but not completely. He’s going in standings starting tonight so we’ll keep an eye on it. But, it’s not bothering him and he’s sound.

Bestest boy

Anyway, our ride. After not riding, I decided that hopping on with his new bareback pad sounded like a very smart idea. And Nay was a good sport. We were just planning on walking (my plan was no cantering until Feb), but after a while, Nay let me know he REALLY REALLY REALLY felt good and needed to let off some steam. He was showing off some rather interesting dance moves with his front legs. So I hopped off and let him lunge himself. He bucked a few times, cantered a minute or 2 and then stopped when he was ready. I got back on and Nay felt much better. We walked over some poles and all was good. I did try and trot a few steps and it was fine, but I need to work on my trot bareback. That said, since I can’t breathe, walking was my speed.

He’s a brat but I love him
Dragon breath

Otherwise? Everyone is doing well. Jiminy thinks he should move inside during the winter. Subi is happy and healthy and is actually eating oil in his hay cubes (WHAT THE HECK?) and Nay is Nay. I need to get some blankets cleaned soon but I’m just too lazy. I have several that are gross and smell, but I can’t figure out which ones I can live without depending on how long it takes for cleaning. It’s not like I don’t have millions, but I don’t have millions of every type of blanket.

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season or hopefully getting to enjoy a day or 2 off from work.

Jiminy is always happy to wear whatever I toss in him

I had a great lesson last week and couldn’t figure out how to blog about it. Basically we focused on trying to fix my position as I have a bad habit of jamming my heels down too far and my trainer tells me this gets Nay Nay angry. So, most of my lesson I got to hear, “heals UP!” Which was very odd. But, I lifted my heels and Nay went slower. I also have a crazy tight leg (muscle memory all of these years later from riding Subi, the world’s BOUNCIEST slow big strided thoroughbred). So, jamming my heels down doesn’t help.

Nay Nay did NOT appreciate this. Subi elected NOT to participate and I wasn’t up for a second fight.

Other than that? I went out to ride yesterday, got on and immediately found my horse was lame. Hard to see at the walk until you look, noticeable at the trot. Some heat/swelling around his left hock. We came home, I gave him some bute and that evening (2ish hours later), swelling/heat gone, but he was still resting on his toe a lot.

This morning I was prepared to call the vet (I was ready for 8-12 months of stall rest and recuperation). But there was no heat/swelling again. I trotted him again and while he’s SLIGHTLY short here and there, he’s 1000% better than yesterday. He also tried to take off on me, rear, and buck while we were trotting so clearly he’s feeling fine. So instead of diagnostics since there’s nothing there (my horse was lame yesterday and is mostly fine today. Can you come look at him because I’m a worrywart?), he’s getting rest and we’re going with he strained something and can get a week or 2 off to start and if he hasn’t improved, we’ll do diagnostics. If he’s worse, a few days of stall rest. But he’s pretty ok right now and clearly not in pain. He’s also standing on that leg without issue.

So yeah. That’s where we’re at?

Weekend Happenings

I’m suffering a bit from the blahs right now. I’m not in the holiday spirits and lacking motivation about pretty much everything. Mostly I’m just in need of time off of work and am looking forward to 18 days off work (I’m including weekends) as I took the first week of January off in addition to our week closure between Xmas and New Year. Hopefully, that will help me relax and recharge.

I also was able to find Nay Nay’s winning race from 2014

I did have a fun weekend. On Saturday, I visited Northview Stallion Station with a friend for their open house (I’ll post about that tomorrow) but with the weather being gross (super windy and overcast), I just decided not to ride. Sunday I was feeling anti-social and decided on an afternoon ride to avoid barn company…

Subi napping and Nay Nay standing guard
My favorite boys

And everything looked good. I arrived to an empty barn and was 3/4 tacked up when I was joined by a fellow adult rider. And then another adult and her daughter, home from college. At that point, my quiet ride turned into a mini riding party. It was fine. Nay enjoys riding with Fiona and Houston, they’re his buddies at the barn, but my attempt to be anti-social was thwarted.

Thankfully despite my wishes to be anti-social, Nay was in a good mood and super relaxed. He offered me some nice trot work and a lovely canter. I’m still cantering solo inside, but he picked up both leads and forced me to push him around the ring. I’m enjoying the cluck, push, and squeeze to keep him going. After everyone else had warmed up, we took turns jumping. I was low energy so I didn’t plan to do much, but Nay was thrilled to pop over some fences and show off. We started off with trotting the 2 outside singles to the left then cantering the first one.

Next time around? We took on the inside single, cantered the outside single. Trotted the inside blue jump. Nay landed the lead but as I hadn’t jumped the crossrail this direction, I brought him back to the trot, planning to trot the other single. He had other plans and picked up the canter again once we were straight which is how we found ourselves cantering on the wrong lead to the outside single. We ended with the other outside single the other direction.

One course from this weekend

After that, I think I ended with something very simple, but I can’t remember and I have no video proof.

At this point, I let the daughter of my riding buddy hop on Nay for a few minutes just to see how he’d look/go with someone else. She’s a strong and competent rider who can ride anything and everything. Nay was less than impressed but a good boy. He was a bit quick at first at the trot but quieted down after a few laps. At the canter? She struggled with leads until I explained that he REALLY likes you to exaggerate your aids and bring your outside leg way back. Immediately? Canter on the correct lead. He was super quick to the right (he’s quicker to the right with me, but not quick) but if you play with your fingers, he’ll slow right down. To the left, he was much more manageable. She trotted him over a crossrail and hopped off. Definitely agreed he has springs over jumps.

It was good for him to have someone on his back and for me to watch him with someone else. He definitely prefers me and all my bad habits. And that’s OK. It’s also nice to see that he doesn’t miraculously go better with a better rider. But, he did ok too. I’m his person, but occasionally I might ask him to letter others hop on.

The goodest, goodest boy

Sunday marked Nay Nay’s 2 year anniversary. If you had asked me earlier this fall, I’d say we were a mess. But right now? We are in the middle of some of the best rides we’ve ever had.

The changes I wrote about last post are really paying off even though they’re not even a couple of weeks old. But Nay is a different horse. I can’t even describe it. He’s relaxed, happy, and just… zen?

First time on bareback! He didn’t care. I fell off the mounting block the first time I tried to get on…

After a good weekend of rides where I even had to grab a crop because I COULD NOT KEEP MY HORSE GOING (one reminder and that was done and over with), I sucked it up and texted my trainer last minute to see if she had an opening for a lunchtime lesson the next day.

Despite being colder, despite riding inside, despite being in a lesson (I tend to be nervous for lessons), I had the exact same horse I’ve had for the last several rides. My trainer was shocked at the difference. It’s been at least a month? since our last lesson? Nay was relaxed, stretching for the bit, and slow. And me? I warmed up walking around without stirrups so I could force myself to sit IN the saddle vs perch ON the saddle.

Post lesson goodness

I explained the bit change (I had to remind her which bit she switched me to) and she couldn’t argue with how relaxed he was. And after a nice time trotting around where we focused putting my leg back on and messing with my hands, we worked on the canter which was even better? I need to lean out a bit in the corners and such and apply a little outside leg to the right in the corners so we don’t get stuck, but he never tossed his head once and had “never looked more calm or relaxed, ever.”

Then we just chatted about Nay. Whatever changes I made I need to keep. I told her in addition to the bit, I just cut rice bran and the flax and am basically letting him eat as much alfalfa as he wants (she didn’t know if too much alfalfa was making him uncomfortable, but he’s eating more than he was before when he was super grouchy and my vet told me to load up on alfalfa for his ulcer history).

I ended up bring up the weight comments. Not directly the “you mentioned he looked thin” part, but that I was receiving mixed advice and losing my mind. She looked at him and said he looked great (which he does). And said that everyone’s opinion is based on discipline. In general, for a thoroughbred, he’s fat. For an eventer, he might even be considered overweight. For a hunter, people would probably try to get 300lbs on him (I said I doubt they’d manage and she agreed but said that wouldn’t stop anyone from trying). But that from a body conditioning scale, he’d have an excellent score. So I’m just going to leave it as he’s fine and I’m not trying to get him to be hunter obese.

Best ears. Standing by the one jump we didn’t jump!

After all that we did a little jumping. I have not done more than trotting some singles in months. Well, I cantered one fence off a circle, but other than that… But we just started by trotting a pattern of basically every fence in the indoor. So outside single around to inside single, inside line (trotting both fences), outside single, inside single (the other direction). Then we repeated this, skipping the last fence. The second time through the goal was the hold the canter any time possible, basically, canter if we landed the lead. The only time we cantered was the inside line. Final time? Trot the first jump then simple change and canter the rest, trotting into the line. I blew the turn for the outside single so I circled, but we did everything. All of our distances were long cantering in, but we had a steady pace which was the goal so we ended there.

My trainer was actually thrilled. Nay has a history of going long, especially when out of practice, so the long spots didn’t bother her. He didn’t care AT ALL and didn’t speed up on the landing. Just jumped and continued on. The point of the exercise was just to jump and not change anything. Not micromanage. Not ask him to lengthen or shorten to get a better distance but to hold a steady pace and not change anything. He did and going long didn’t bother him one bit (me? haha, but it was fine).

Seriously, who is this horse? He was so relaxed and happy. I just can’t!

Changing Various Variables

Something has been up with Nay Nay for the last couple of months but I just can’t quite identify what is off. Something is, but I don’t know what. Gut feeling?

Back in the summer we had lead issues, but he was still MY horse. I didn’t have issues with him and nothing felt off.

Then we sorted out the leads and I started worrying about his weight. And he started leaving feed behind. I started worrying more. Then I added back his western alfalfa and he stuffed his face with that and left more grain. I pretty much was at a loss.

Logic says change 1 variable at a time so that you know what works. But, WHY would I follow logic?

In one of my last lessons, my trainer mentioned that she suspected Nay might be in touch of pain as he would toss his head when we made tight(er) turns. He did NOT react with wide sweeping turns or on the straight sides of the arena. This got me thinking. I had done a bute test and had no change, but she suggested robaxin. I’m NOT against getting the vet involved and/or medication especially if it was muscular/medical/pain related, but SOMETHING was telling me to play around with some other things first. The head tossing started when we changed bits from the D-ring snaffle to the 3 ring elevator. The mouth piece stayed the same, but obviously the functionality of the bit was different.

So, last weekend, after Nay had YET MORE time off, I put him back in his snaffle and… he DID NOT TOSS HIS HEAD ONCE. In fact, he just seemed thrilled and happy head wise, if otherwise completely out of shape. He felt more relaxed than I felt in months.

Throughout the week, I made other changes. Last week I pulled him off is powder supplements because he just hasn’t been into them (platinum performance ::cue me crying::) and then when he still wasn’t cleaning his bucket, I cut the rice bran. He immediately seemed to start eating better without the extra fat. Hmm. Today? His demeanor just seemed… better? He still doesn’t eat a lot of hay overnight, BUT I keep telling myself he gets 10lbs of western alfalfa. How much do I expect him to eat on top of 10 lbs of alfalfa? The alfalfa is packed with protein and nutrients so everything he eats on top of that is good. Out in the field he eats when he wants. How much? Who knows. I rarely see him eat but here and there I see him at the feeder. And the hay disappears. The boys finish a bale in 2-3 days (out 12 hours/day). So they all do eat. Nay just likes to hang out, just like Subi.

Anyway, today’s ride? Nay was even better than last week. I had to grab a crop for the canter because someone was too relaxed, but I feel like I have my horse back. He’s not tossing his head. He feels relaxed. He’s using his hind end. And our rides just don’t feel… stressed? I DO feel a little “dragging” going on here and there so perhaps the elevator may make an occasional appearance, but I feel like all the head flinging was bit related vs pain. And now that we’re off rice bran? He feels even better.

So which variable is the cause of all this, no idea. But sometimes changes are what we need.

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:

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.

Jiminy:

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…