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.

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!

 

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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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…

Ranger Recap: Wait, this isn’t Ranger…

Thanks everyone for your comments, sympathy, and feedback on Subi. I really appreciate every comment and suggestion!

Another Thursday, another week my trainer is away…

I headed out to ride and found Ranger in his stall from and earlier lesson so I tacked up and headed out to ride. Of course, there were ponies in the ring so after trying to ride and it not working, I just ended up standing around and talking with another rider on Ranger’s BFF Mikey. Then suddenly, after a while, the person teaching realized she had a lesson with Ranger. Turns out she rescheduled Wednesday lessons and forgot that I rode on Thursday… So I hopped off and completely wasted my evening (I hopped off without complaint).

Realizing that it wasn’t entirely fair (I wasn’t about to offer my saddle or girth), she suggested I hop on Forrest instead and offered to grab him from the MUDDY field for me if I did a saddle swap. So, I did that while she grabbed Forrest.

So, that was how I ended up on the big chestnut vs Ranger.

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Um, you’re not Ranger…

I didn’t exactly do much. After all, I didn’t feel like I should jump him for the first time outside of a lesson when I wasn’t exactly given permission to ride him by my trainer (not that I really jump much outside of lessons, I just usually practice a couple of fences). But, he was fun. Took a crazy amount of leg and was much closer to a Subi kind of ride than Ranger. Big trot (but not bouncy like Subi), nice canter, and long neck. Lot of leg required. And schooled up the wazoo.

Thank you Forrest for being a good boy.

When turning the boys out (Forrest and Ranger), Ranger saw me, and stopped dead. He KNEW I had the treats. I’m glad he still knows I AM THE TREAT LADY. We did share with Forrest though. Lol.

In Subi news, he was very good last night. We continued our back and halts to the barn but made sure Batt stayed in front. Then did some trotting in hand on the driveway. No clue why some days he’s better than others??? Then this morning, good again (less surprising), but then started to spook at the gate when Batt when to roll behind him (our other issue, Batty thinks rolling while heading out is acceptable). But, once he realized it was Batt, stopped mid spook once he realized it was Batt. It was almost as if he realized it wasn’t worth the energy to spook at his idiot brother.