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.

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.

 

 

 

Update on Subi

This blog has been very Nay-heavy lately and I’ve been meaning to do an Sub-date for a couple weeks, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I’m also worried that I’ll write something about Subi and he’ll go and stop eating or something. But honestly, knowing him, he’ll do that update or no update.

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The best Subble Bubble covered in bedding

So how is he doing? Short answer? Pretty well.

After Batt died, Subi basically didn’t eat for a month. He ate and drank the bare minimum to survive, but that was about it. As a result, he lost at least 150lbs. I’ve been struggling to get the weight back on him ever since. Now, Subi was at REALLY good weight prior to his hunger strike, but, unfortunately, 150lbs is a HUGE loss for a hard keeping thoroughbred. He pretty much ate alfalfa and picked at whatever else he wanted.

He also developed ulcers during this time, because, why not? If you all remember, a few days after losing Batt, Subi took himself for a gallop around the neighborhood searching for his friend. That resulted in a long acting sedative. The sedative helped until it didn’t and the ulcers developed from stress, grief, and general unhappiness. After I realized keeping him in at night only made things worse, I started bringing them in for dinner, turning out after 2-3 hours, and bringing them back in for breakfast. He never ate much, but he stressed less.

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You can really see his weight loss here. He lost a little bit more after this picture

Around this time, I pulled him off the sedative, put him on ulcergard then compounded omeprazole paste (he was on nexium but since he wasn’t eating…). Around this time, he became dull and docile. To the point that anyone could lead him including my husband or a 5 year old child.

Enter Nay at the beginning of December. At this point, Subi perked up in the field and was finally able to stay in his stall overnight without trashing it MOST OF THE TIME. But, he still had days where he stressed. Dinner was about 50/50 as to whether it was finished but he started eating hay in his stall. Vet drew blood (also tested for cushings), but everything completely normal. Vet suggested we do a full 60 day ulcer treatment vs 30.

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Subi and his favorite sidekick with his favorite thing in the world: blanket with neck cover (best thing for weight gain). 

Enter January. His weight still sucks, but he’s slowly gaining. I purchased MORE 3 string western alfalfa (price went down?!?!? I’m so confused…) and I’m giving in to his love of all things…sweet feed. You see, Subi is now cleaning his dinner bucket if he get 6 quarts sweet feed and 2 quarts TC Senior whereas before the ratio was 6 quarts TC senior and 3 quarts omolene 200. He’s getting less of his fat and less of the purina outlast than I’d prefer, but the current ratio seems to keep him eating… So, Subi, you can eat what you want. In the mornings (he eats less for breakfast), he just gets 5 quarts Omolene 200 with a touch of fat and outlast. So, when I finish this bag, I’m dropping the senior. At 23, he can eat what he wants. I give up.

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Made the mistake of turning this fool out without a sheet/blanket one morning because it was that cold… he reared the entire way to turnout… idiot. 

He’s also slowly getting a bit…spunkier leading from the field at night. He’s not bad, he’s never bad (YES HE IS), but he has his moments and his personality is back. He and Nay have also gone flying around the field many a days and Subi is quiet crippled the next day because of it (arthritis…). Of course, with his ulcers, bute and Equioxx are off the table. My farrier is thrilled with his BOT boots prior to trimming (he was shocked at the difference as I hadn’t had them on prior to his last trim) and Subi went from creaky and teeth grinding to compliant and comfortable. So, for now, we stick with stuff like that.

Generally though? He’s content. He’s Subble Bubble. He likes his kisses, peppermints, and carrots. He eats apples from everyone BUT me and is generally a gentleman if you stick to his routine. He likes Nay (and is thrilled that someone wants to run and play), but isn’t obsessed with him and doesn’t care when he goes off on the trailer. And, he’s constantly covered in mud, everywhere his blankets don’t cover.

13.

Today marks Subi’s 13th anniversary with me. How has 13 year gone by? Seriously? I bought him the fall of my senior year of college. How little I knew back then!

But, he’s my longest relationship (sorry Erik!). And while I hope we have 13 more, at 22 with significant arthritis, I know that’s not likely, so I’m just going to enjoy what time we have.

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Model

For year 13, Subi received a brand new rhino 100 gram turnout. I got a kiss. Fair deal.

 

For year 13, Subi has decided that he now ONLY eats alfalfa in his stall when it comes to hay. OK Subi, but I’m still feeding you orchard and your still limited 2 (or 3 if I’m feeling guilty) flakes of alfalfa because, let’s face it, I’m not made of money. But, MAYBE, I’ll buy you orchard-alfalfa too next time I visit the hay guy…

And, yesterday morning, it was raining. Subi REFUSED to

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He knows he looks good, lol

leave his stall. He was wearing a rain sheet. He didn’t want to get wet. Old man has gotten picky. Let us not forget that a year ago he lived out 24/7. But, NO, he was going to melt if he stepped out into the rain. Eventually, I convinced him to leave his stall, walk to the paddock, where he IMMEDIATELY made a beeline to the shed. Again, he was dressed in a rain sheet. No one else melted and no one else was wearing sheet. Finicky old man!

Enjoy some of my favorite pictures throughout the years!

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Way back in 2006!

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First horse show? He’s unimpressed.

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Cold winters were the death of both of us…

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Various hairstyles…

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kindest eyes

 

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young years. 

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Still my favorite picture EVER

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He was so bored… 

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During a kim lesson

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mane was never in control

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I have so few riding pictures with him… 

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Loved these two together… 

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Loved his Hayley

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He was surprisingly good on trails.. 

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Riding days… 

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Fan of sticking his head on top of mine… 

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Fan of blankets

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Fan of staring off into the distance.

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Fan of mud

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3 nuts

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He’s seriously the best, even when I’m ready to kill him… 

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Goof ball

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Big and little

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Begging for food like the goof he is… 

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Best friends waiting to go out

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Handsomest chestnut there is

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Always posing for the camera

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My best boy in the world. 

Alternate plans.

No lesson recap this week because my lesson didn’t happen. Again. I have thoughts about that, but this isn’t the right venue. Sometimes you really just need to unwind in a way that ONLY riding can allow, but with an arthritic senior and a horse that can’t currently breathe (right, dealing with THAT too), I don’t have a ride-able horse right now).

So, instead I groomed this guy. He didn’t enjoy it, but whatever.

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Because horses.

Life has seriously gotten in the way of…life. Blogging? The fun parts of life? Anyway, I’m running on fumes right now and full into the worst season for migraines. There is a reason why I hate everyone’s favorite riding season. Being in constant pain really makes it a miserable season… but this blog isn’t (currently) about migraines.

Waiting to go outside…

Horses are stupid. This winter Subi was dealing with a lot of crap (eyes/vision, change in routine, etc.) and ultimately developed what I assume were ulcers. He responded to a course of treatment with Nexium and life got better and the word had more daylight, and ultimately my horse not only started eating but also stopped rearing while I led him in at night.

Over the last month, Subi started acting like a fool when I’d bring him in. I blamed the light (well lack there of) and started turning in earlier and earlier. Sometimes it helped until it…didn’t. I went from leading 2 (usually the big guys) to having Subi alone as he was all I could handle. Sometimes he was ok with Jiminy, other times Jiminy needed rescuing by my husband with a hernia…

then Subi stopped eating. It was breakfast at first. He’d always eat dinner. Then less dinner. Then he stopped completely. Well, not completely, but he’d leave 2/3 of each meal or more. Then it occur to me…

Ulcers.

Grumpy and miserable

I started the nexium but I wasn’t getting fast enough results and ordered omeprazole paste from Abler to switch to. Yes, I could do Ulcergard, but I want to help my horse without going bankrupt. It arrived fast (4 days with STANDARD shipping) and by that point the nexium had started to kick in… I also added in Purina Outlast after realizing he’d eat that thanks to my awesome feed store giving me 3 sample size bags to get started. Within a week, he was eating full meals again. Well, modified full meals–we are just NOW up to our old full meals…

And, because I’m a sucker, I also bought Subi 6 bales of nice alfalfa and he gets 2 flakes each night. Only as of a few night ago did I stat putting them in a hay bag because alfalfa mixed with bedding is gross. So now we’re alfalfa people…

And finally, I’ve taken on a new form of training. Avoidance. Instead of dealing with Subi’s behavior leading him in at night, I just feed him carrots. Is this good training? No. Does it work? Yes. He’s focused on he and not the dark shadows and last night was the first night we spooked in weeks. His reaction to calm himself? Look for me and the carrot while I just stood with Batt. Considering last night it was pitch black and I led them from the gate we haven’t used since spring (they couldn’t get to the paddock since in smart mom moment I blocked their access) and Batt immediately bumped his butt against a tree branch, it was successful?

Insanity.

Not much to update on or rather not much I’m choosing to update on. Drama in my life right now is pulling all my emotional energy.

But, Batt is chugging along. My car (last Tuesday’s drama involved a failed inspection thanks to a rodent chewing through a fuel line[unexpected] AND new brakes[expected]) is back to being alive. I still need new trailer tires and now that Batt is sort of breathing, I want to start riding again. (Trainer is showing with clients so no lessons last week and this week)

But, since I don’t feel like updating on anything else, here’s a short little video of my idiot horse. Saturday afternoon we had a crazy storm. The humidity dropped. Then another storm was rolling in. Bugs got really bad and the humidity increased dramatically in about 20 minutes. Subi wanted in NOW. This is how we respond to having to wait for evening chores to be finished…

Idiot.

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!