Moving…slowly.

Since I last posted, I’ve pretty much been on the sidelines with a bunch more health ailments. Whether they were caused by body’s reaction to the asthma flare or a deeper issue or both, I don’t know. But, I’ve been on the sidelines with a bunch of weird issues ranging from an eye issue that landed me in the ER to full body weakness to some other infection. I’m off antibiotics, the eyes are healing (a specialist diagnosed me with nodular epscleritis in both eyes but it’s self contained and healing), and all bloodwork is normal so the weakness is still a mystery. We’re seeing if it resolves in another week before we run more tests (I’ve been tested for just about every autoimmune disease).

Best pair of thoroughbreds. I’m not sure they like each other all that much, but they do enjoy playing. The rest of the time they annoy the crap out of each other…

Anyway, due to how weak I’ve been, much of my time has been spent on the couch under a heated blanket. I’ve helped out with stalls when I can, but there are days when I can barely hold onto the full pitchforks (my arm is shaking holding my coffee this morning). My husband is doing it all without complaint. I think he’s discovered the solitude of stall mucking.

Trouble. He really should never be fed treats because he’s so mouthy and bites my coat pockets every morning, but… Double blanketed and so happy during a recent cold snap. Body clipped and blankets is his preferred way to spend the winter! He struggles with temperatures otherwise.

Still, I’ve missed my horse time. I feed and turn out every morning and before turnout is treat time (right now, ginger snaps seem to be everyone’s favorite, but no one will turn down peppermints or an oatmeal cream pie — Subi’s eating them again). And I bring in at night while Erik makes up dinner buckets. I have to say, the ponies have been really good lately. After all his issues the last couple of years, he’s Mr. Relaxed. My husband turns him out in the mornings and they’re best buddies now—he used to be terrified of this horse and now he’ll lead him day or night. But they’re all so good. I mean, Jiminy is Jiminy so he’s a brat, but…

My best boys on a really cold morning.

I did finally get on Nay Nay on Sunday. He definitely knows something is up with me and is being extremely careful and gentle. When we walk at night, he stays close so I can use him for balance (my entire property is on a hill). Getting on? He’s never stood that still or not moved off until I basically begged him to and even then he looked back as if to make sure I was really ready.

Missed this so much!

We more or less just walked, working on a nice forward pace and carriage, but it felt like coming home. It’s amazing how much you can miss something so much. I did try and trot, but only managed 1.5 times each way before I was jello. Still, it was a place to start and Saint Nay Nay took care of me every step of the way.

All dressed up with no where to go

My goal is to ride again tomorrow and do more of the same. At this point, I don’t care how little we do, I’m just happy to get back on.

Saint Nay Nay

Chugging along

I haven’t blogged for awhile. I keep meaning to and then I just…don’t want to. Life and work has been getting me down and I just haven’t been up to it? Life’s got me down for no real good reason.

The horses? They’re doing OK. Jiminy has decided to get all heaves-y on me so that’s fun. I have him on zyrtec plus leftover ventipulmin as needed. It’s fine. I should start steaming his night hay but the issue is he doesn’t necessarily eat a full flake if it’s in a net so I don’t really know how much to steam. If it’s not in a net, he’ll eat too much. Dilemmas. So I do nothing.

Doesn’t get much cuter than this, does it?

Subi. Subi is currently feral. Some days he’s dead quiet and others he’s a wild maniac. So typical Subi. He’s also grown a coat for the first time ever so there is that?

This fool… there are no words.

And Nay Nay. We’ve been alternating really good rides and less than great rides. He does better when he’s ridden a lot. I’m just trying to find the right balance. We had a fabulous lesson the other week where he pretty much grew up.

Blurry video but video nonetheless

And the proceeded to have crappy rides every day after.

It’s not that they were bad. They weren’t. They just weren’t… good. They were fine. But I’m struggling to find the balance between forward and quiet, slow and dead, and spooky and stupid. Most of the time he’s been slow, dead, and stupid. But not actually dead or slow? I guess what I need to do is suck it up, get after him, and find the forward button?

I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. He’s fine. He’s not doing anything. But some days? Work is sort of, kind of optional. And then I struggle to keep him moving forward and we end up with this behind the leg crappy canter that I just can’t ride. And, instead of smacking him with the crop and saying knock it off you fool, I just sit there and don’t do anything? I don’t know. User error.

The far end of the ring has become spooky town for us (read: me). And well, that’s not helping. I mean, we’re fine. And Nay doesn’t do anything. Other than the weekend before our lovely lesson when neither of us were feeling it (and I was almost dumped 3x). But besides that day? He’s done nothing to make me nervous so who the heck knows.

So that’s where we’re at. Lesson tomorrow. We’ll see how we do.

It’s a BRAND NEW pony!

I need a Nay Nay update. And I survived the 1 year Batt-anniversary, but today I want to introduce my new pony.

NAKED Jiminy!
He very much did NOT appreciate his legs getting clipped. Those are usually skipped.
The boys checking him out…
Subi says, “Who the eff is this?!?!”
No before pictures, but this gives you an idea as to the dramatic difference!

They’ve lost their minds.

We’ve had some cool mornings. Cool mornings combined with possibly too much alfalfa and I’ve had some crazy horses on hand…

Tuesday the vet came out for spring vaccines and I decided to keep everyone in as it was an early appointment. And then the vet was late. 9:30 turned into 10:30. I turned the boys out in the round pen. Boy was that a mistake.

I was planning to blame Nay, but now that I think about it, Subi did the SAME THING back when I turned him out in the round pen with Batty while waiting for the vet. It’s all on Subi…

So back in their stalls they went. It’s not that I cared that they were acting like fools, but they weren’t exactly eating like I planned or overly happy. So inside they went and munched on some hay…  Until Nay got annoyed and stressed so out he came to graze.

Which angered Jiminy.

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I’m running a 3 ring circus folks!

The vet finally came, everyone got shots and turned out.

And ran around like fools.

Nay was also cleared to start back in light work. We have a lesson on Saturday because there is NO WAY IN HELL that my first ride back will be solo. But it was nice knowing you all…

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Morning Snack and Feeder Update

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It appears I skipped this gem the other day… Smile! It’s your birthday!

Blog content is slow around here. Honestly? There’s not much.

But, I have my boys and I’m super thankful for them.

A couple of times a week I started morning snack right after I turned Nay Nay and Subi out. A couple times turned into a few which turned into daily. Honestly? It’s the highlight of my day. Snack is usually peppermints. Sometimes hard starlight peppermints but sometimes puff peppermints. Somedays snack is carrots and other times includes apples. If I ever take the nickermakers out of the truck, they’ll also be included in morning snack. Jiminy sometimes partakes but is usually still in his stall. I’m mean! But he also doesn’t need extra sugar… A few times a week he does get a small snack (he also sometimes doesn’t realize snack is happening and gallops off to the hay feeder so there is that too).

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SNACK! Catch a Jimmy eye… 

Snack consists of the thoroughbreds mugging me for treats. Snack consists of me getting coating in licks and slobber. Snack consists of soft thoroughbred noses in my face. Snack is AWESOME.

Yes, people will saw mugging horses is bad, but they are SO HAPPY and they happiness makes me happy. And right now? I need all the happiness and smiles I can get. So snack continues. For a while, I doled out snack from the other side of the fence (Nay standing appropriately far away from the hot fence wire), but I missed those soft noses. So I’m back to bad habits and providing snack from inside the field.

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I’m not sure if he’s licking hot wire… Freak. 

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Donkey. 

In other news, as a hay feeder update, I ordered Nay the Slow Feeder Saver Junior from SmartPak and it should be here by Monday (drop shipped from manufacturer in Iowa). I also spoke to High Country Plastics who makes this feeder as well as the others I was considering and they talked me out of the CF-24 Corner Feeder as they didn’t feel it would be the best for my purpose, but said that if I did want to order the CF-32 Corner Feeder in the future, most of their suppliers can order it WITHOUT the dividers as a special order which was why I wasn’t seriously considering it. Removing the dividers would actually drop the price even though it would be a special order. So, if the Slow Feeder Saver doesn’t work out for Nay, I can transfer that to either Jiminy or Subi and reach back out to High Country Plastics and find a retailer to special order the CF-32.  I can see now in the picture that the compartments are screwed in.

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For a cheap horse, he’s VERY expensive. But he’s a good snuggler. And very goofy. 

I also think Nay needs some kind of toy in his stall to play with. He’s so mouthy. I left his halter hanging on Subi’s stall latch (vs on the ground) after morning meds pre-breakfast and where was it when I came to turn out? In his stall. I can’t leave halters on one gate anymore because Nay Nay chewed Subi’s nice halter. So maybe he’d actually like a jolly ball? Or something else? Freak.

 

 

 

New normal: a photo recap

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posing for peppermints…

First off, thank you everyone for your suggestions for ulcer preventatives! I started him on the Animed Ulc-R-Aid (and Subi’s eating it), but I might switch/add the Purina Outlast. I’m not sure yet. Regardless, I’ve been lazy and I could order the Ulc-R-Aid online and it got here overnight whereas I would have to drive 3 miles to the feed store (I haven’t actually been to the feed store yet) for the Purina and figure out a container for it…

img_0400Beyond that, Subi has been feeling good lately. Really good. Really, really good. Stall life agrees with him. He’s sound. Sounder than he’s been in years. To the point that I’m considering un-retiring him. What will that look like? I don’t know. But he has energy. Normally I turn him out and he gallops around, bucking, rearing, and rolling for a good 10+ minutes with a few trot and canter steps for me to evaluate his soundness. For the last few weeks, I’ve been staring at him, amazed at just how good he looks. So, we’re going to start on the lunge line (I purchased a cavesson and surcingle) and see where this goes. If he can hold up, great! If not, back to retirement he goes. He’s off all medication and joint supplements and I’m not willing to medicate to keep him un-retired (but if he needs them for the winter when he’ll be off again, fine). But we’ll see where this goes…

The one morning I bring my phone out, he decides NOT to act like a fool.

I also came across some old videos (thanks Facebook memories) from 2011. Both of us were A LOT younger back then. Videos are crappy quality, but it was nice seeing this version of Subi! Today, 8 years ago.

Meanwhile I ordered Batty a hay steamer. His heaves seems worse on small bales though they’re not dusty. Eating inside obviously doesn’t help. But add in the time of year, allergens, and all that, we’ll see how this goes. If we need to get through spring with prednisone, we will, but I’d like to avoid the devil drug if necessary (I’m allergic so I’m curious how I’ll react to grinding pills I’m allergic too…)

Jiminy? He’s the same. Some days he’s well behaved, others he’s being shipped off to TN… It remains to be seen where he’ll end up.

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Subi and his mini-me

But, spring is finally springing here in the mid-atlantic!

And Ranger? He’s the best! I never did recap my lesson, but… It ended like this.

And all was right in the world.

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.

You crazy lunatics! Why are you spooking?!?!?!?!?!

Preparing for turn in and turn out lately has been… interesting. Subi is either really good or really… not good and on edge. I’m sure part of it is that he needs a job and being in a stall for half the night isn’t helping. So, he’s either on his best behavior or he rears. I’m prepared for both.

This morning he was pretty good walking down to the field. Until we got close and then… explosion. What made this different was there was a chain reaction. Usually Subi explode and I can get his attention and Batt ignores us. Except this time Batt exploded too. My husband was a little shocked by the calm, fat appendix thing at the end of his lead rope exploding in the air with all four feet off the ground (this is impressive). I focused on Subi while Erik got Batty in the field. Except, once in the field, Batt started rolling and bucking and acting stupid while Subi tried to be good while almost exploding again. I could feel the power keg in my hand and we had one mini explosion as we walked to the gate and while he wasn’t listening, he was trying. Once his halter was off (stupid rope halter…), the fireworks started…

FYI Jiminy had NO IDEA what was going on (he only reacted when the big guys got too close to him and to join the fun)…

Watch with sound…

I’m hoping everyone will be alive and INSIDE THE FIELD when I get home. They were picking at Subi’s leftover mash when I left for work so I assume that was enough of a distraction… Jiminy was VERY disappointed that the boys calmed down enough to help pick at food as he thought the bucket was 100% his…

Catching up

Not too much to write about. I’ve basically been sick since my last post (bronchitis or possibly pneumonia though we didn’t do x-rays so don’t actually know) so not much has happened. Still recovering… Haven’t ridden in weeks due to being sick and with a high of 17 this week, chances are I won’t be riding again… Haven’t cancelled 3 lessons in a row in a super long time. I miss Ranger.

My nursing crew (sleeping on the job)

The boys are starting to get into a routine. Some days Subi is a gentleman to lead, other days he’s a rearing mess (more at the end)… But, he seems to be OK in the stall. He more or less eats his dinner (we’ve been feeding breakfast outside) and picks through hay. Sometimes he drinks, sometimes he doesn’t.

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Tiny holes don’t stop Batt!

Batty is a stall pig, but seems to love his stall. He was inhaling too much hay so he was downgraded from the 2″ hay net to a 1″ hay net. That hasn’t stopped him… But, thankfully he still has a little hay left in the morning.  He has free choice hay outside and stands and eats all day. He really doesn’t need to eat 15+lbs of hay in his stall. Not sorry about limiting his hay AT ALL. He’s a pig. He’s also a messy pig. I switched him Saturday from shavings to pellets and HOPEFULLY that will help. Thankfully the pellets aren’t dusty either so… With his heaves, I worry about stalling in general, but he seems ok. I do want to start steaming his hay, just need to build him a steamer…

Jiminy is fine, but likes to poop RIGHT under the storage room door. Maybe next weekend I’ll add another mat there so that I stop messing with the screenings. Thanks Jiminy, very inconvenient.

I also can’t wait until I have electric. Doing stalls by headlamp isn’t the easiest, but oh well. It works?

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Fun key chains from Painted Flanks (though a little bigger than I thought)

Yesterday, the farrier was out and the boys had there feet done in their stalls. Subi was VERY good considering the change of routine. My farrier was very happy not to be trimming on a hill or in the mud. Batt had several abscesses in his front left — not surprising–but overall, everyone was pretty good.

Turning back out after trimming was another story… Subi was a jerk, and proceeded to take his rearing to another level. I did a little ground work walking to the field as I could feel him on edge (he acts up more when the ground is mushy–he doesn’t like the unstable ground), but outside of the gate he proceed to explode, rearing about 6 times and freaking Batty out. I did get after him and maybe overreacted, but… He exploded once he was free (after halter was off and I was safely out of the field — he’s good about that). When we brought in a few ours later in the dark, the ground was harder and he was a bit better. I halted and backed him every once in a while. He rushed the hill where the footing is a bit…slippery, but otherwise was decent. I did extra halts and backs anyways. This morning he was…strange. Extra slow and cautious. I felt like I had to drag him to the field. I’m thinking he’s feeling yesterday? Regardless, we’re doing halts and backs every.single.day. while walking to and from the barn until he can contain himself.

Thankful.

We’ve been dealing with some horrifically awful weather around here.

It was horrifically cold on Thanksgiving and Black Friday and bitter all day on Saturday.

Wednesday I hit Dover and was able to exchange Subi’s Northwind heavyweight detach-a-neck and a exchange it for a new one as the stitch was coming out on one of the surcingles and repairing it would likely void the warranty. So, we picked up a brand new blanket just in time for the unexpected cold front.

And cold it was. Thursday was miserable. But Friday morning was worse temperature wise. Jiminy was frozen until I threw a second medium over his medium and sheet. He’d have been fine had we transitioned into cold. Instead, we’ve had temps in the 50s. And suddenly it was in the teens with wind chills in the single digits.

But worse than temperatures was the sudden frozen mud. With all the rain came insane mud. INSANE. Frozen concrete foot prints. Knee deep footprints. Neither Batt or Jiminy would walk unassisted and Jiminy wouldn’t even walk out of the paddock assisted… Somehow, SUBI was handling all of this better than anyone. I really wonder if he’s feeling good thanks to the Equioxx? Granted, he skipped the paddock completely.

Thanksgiving before dinner I basically melted down to my mom and we considered plans (including sending Jiminy and/or Batt to Tennessee and boarding Subi) and that night fed everyone as best we could out of the paddock (the plan was to use the lower grass field, but Batt said NO). We’ve continued that since. I hate not dividing them, and I can’t control confirm that everyone stay in his own bucket but it’s sort of working for now.

In the mean time, we’re all surviving. Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday sales came and went and I purchased nothing really other than making a down payment on a barn and now I just sit and wait. I am so thankful for my mother for being here every step of the way and basically talking me off a ledge on Thanksgiving and making this journey possible. Of course, had she known 20 some years ago when she agreed to one lesson a week that it would turn into all this, maybe she would have said no. Or bought be a horse. Or leased me a horse. Maybe then I would have burned out or never wanted to get out of a full care situation? Who knows. But we’re in this mess together now!

The rest of my weekend was spent belt making. My own versions of more expensive surcingle belts. I’m taking some to a craft fair this weekend (more accurate, I’m taking them to my aunt who is taking them to a craft fair), but if interested, let me know.

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Just a few of the belts so far…