The tale of the missing right lead (and brotherly bickering)

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“What? You FOUND it?” says Nay Nay.

Welp, that missing right lead. It’s a bugger and really doesn’t want to be found.

BUT, we did find it so I know it DOES exist!

For more details, please read on.

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“I would NEVER lose my right lead,” says Subi.

I was scheduled to ride yesterday in the late afternoon. After all, when I signed up for a lesson last week, I picked a day when it was cooler. Except, the “cold front’ never happened and the end of the week brought temps in the 90s with high humidity vs the low 80s that we were promised. Fail. So, early that morning, I was asked if I could ride earlier and I jumped through hoops to make it work with my schedule.

Due to the heat and a very hard ride the night before (someone had way too much energy), I had a pretty quiet pony in hand. We skipped the longeing and just tried to make it work. Walk and trot? SUCH a good boy. We actually had some bending to the right so the in hand work (both at home and pre-rides) is starting to pay off. And, I think Nay Nay is also starting to accept his d-ring bit.

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“So much work, so little food. You’re telling me I have to share?”

After chatting a little about the canter (sans advice, just me saying it’s been missing since before the 4th of July), I was told to trot a really large circle and ask for it in the corner so that my trainer could watch both of us. Yep, fail. Then the advice started. Lots of inside rein, inside leg, shortening my inside rein, not asking until his nose was turned in… Still not happening. So out came the crop. Using the crop and inside rein and inside leg, and a whole hell of a lot of persistence and circles (and falls starts), I finally got the canter. The trick was truly getting him off that inside shoulder, getting (and keeping!) the bend, and picking up the canter while his weight was in the right place. It was tough but doable. We cantered on the right lead a good 3+ times around the ring for good measure at a nice, forward pace. Once he had the canter? It felt good. But, right now picking it up is HARD so why bother? — Nay Nay.

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“Yes, how else am I going to keep my new figure? My belly sways when I walk.”

We moved on to the left lead and did a little work there. That lead is easy and we were able to do some circle work. Even with my crappy late steering, we still were able to hold the canter for a nice tight circle. Nay Nay is just that much stronger right now.

To end, we returned to the right lead, now with a tired horse. This time it was both harder and easier. Nay Nay said NO several times. It’s hard, but he knew what I wanted. The problem? He was tired. The time he tried some rein snatching from my hand. We had better bend from the start, but the new ploy was bend, slow way down, snatch, and drop. So, I got a bit angry. A little crop behind the leg (he decided that leg/kicks no longer mean go when he’s tired) and suddenly (well, after a couple instances)? We had a right lead canter. It did help that he rocked back onto his hind end which stopped the drop/drop, but nonetheless…

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“This sharing thing sucks! And why do we have to wear these ridiculous looking fly masks anyway? They’re not much fun for me! I liked the other ones that I got to put in my mouth and pull until I could hear that velcro go…”

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“Get over it Nay Nay! I was here first! I LIKE wearing a fly mask (and you seem to as well since your stays on most of the time… We have to wear these bug masks because these are the only ones you haven’t learned how to take off me yet!”

So, we have our work cut out for us. Each time he picked up the lead correctly, Nay Nay got all the praise in the world. After the first right lead canter, suddenly Nay Nay moved right off my leg, so with some consistency, I think we’ll be there. It may just take a little time.

Let’s talk about Subi…

img_3912This blog is still called Three Chestnuts… And while I’m down to one, Subi is the original chestnut.

And he scared me big time on Friday night.

We were bringing the horses in and I got Nay Nay in his stall and went back for Subi. Erik had his halter on but Jiminy was still in the shed eating hay. “Just leave the gate open,” he said.

Subi and I got back to his stall, I had taken his halter off and he was starting in on the peppermints and chopped carrots in his dinner when Jiminy zooms by.

2 minutes later, Jiminy is back in his stall.

img_3900But Subi? He is standing facing Nay Nay’s stall, licking the wall. He stood like that for nearly 2 hours, licking the damn wall.

He ate a carrot, but wouldn’t turn around on his own. And he was breathing super hard. But NOT hot or overheated. Cool to the touch.

I texted a friend who asked, “Heart attack? Stroke? Can he walk? How is his balance?” So I grabbed a carrot and a halter and walked him out to the round pen and back. Nothing wrong with his balance. Or his ability to attack me for the carrot.

img_3911Back in the stall? Wall licking resumed and? Drooling. So much drool.

Next guess, minor choke on either a tiny piece of carrot or a mini panic attack when he lifted his head up to see Jiminy running loose. He never seemed upset, just…startled. He had barely eaten anything (1-3 tiny pieces of carrot smaller than a peppermint and 2 peppermints but choke is possible) but he definitely looked post-panic attack too.

img_3897Throughout the night I checked on him. At 11:45 he was munching his alfalfa and had eaten some grain though his stall wall was soaked. By morning his alfalfa was gone as was breakfast.

Since then? He’s been fine.

WTH horse?

Subi vs Clippers

Nay Nay gets enough post around here.

It’s about time the Original Chestnut gets his own post again.

For the last few weeks, Subi has been pretty miserable. It’s been hot, but not that hot. And then it got pretty hot. Either way, he was miserable and sweaty and sporting a pretty decent old man summer coat (yet, his winter coat is pretty pathetic). The last straw was a humid morning when he was sweaty at 7am.

So, I made a decision last week that I was going to clip him on Saturday. Or at least TRY and clip him.

You see, Subi and the clippers have never really gotten along.

In almost 15 years of ownership, I’m never actually clipped any part of him. Tried? Yes. Clipped? No. So a full body clip shouldn’t be an issue, right?

Hahahahahaha.

Funny.

Armed with a few CCs of ace, Subi got a bath on a cool (yes, it’s been cool since Saturday) Saturday morning before we tackled step one: earplugs. See, he hates the sound of the clippers so I thought that they might help. Start laughing here, please.

Subi 1, Me/clippers 0

I abandoned them and just moved on.

Then I walked him up the clippers and thought, maybe he’s matured at 23? Hahahaha. I let him sniff them and he looked at me, bored and started snacking on alfalfa.

Then I turned them on. BAM. Horse flying backwards.

Subi 2, Me/clippers 0.

But, see, I don’t give up, even when holding a fire breathing dragon. Dammit, this horse is getting clipped, even if it kills both of us.

Enter, lip chain.

Enter pissed off, FIREBREATHING DRAGON.

Enter more stubborn human.

Enter screaming horse who lives up to his, er, NAY…me. YOU AREN’T HELPING.

Score: Subi 2, Me/clippers 0, Nay Nay 0. Last round was a draw.

Goal: stepping on driveway. I win! Goal: Walking past clippers (they’re off), BUT THEY BITE. Eventually, SUCCESS! Then walking past them on. We got there.

Subi 2, Me/clippers 1

Then I picked them up… Shit.

Then it was ok. Until I held them up to him. HAHAHA.

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Because everyone ground ties horses while clipping

Then I held them to my face of all things. And my arm. And suddenly he was OK? And next thing I know, he lets out a breath and I’m clipping him.

 

Subi 2, Me/clippers 2

If life was kind, I’d end here. Once we started, Subi was actually fabulous. While I kept the lip chain on the entire time, after about 10 minutes of clipping, Subi ground tied and let me clip him that way.

Except then my Andis clippers decided that they wanted to die on me.

Subi 2, Me 2, Andis Clippers 1

And I had to pull out my freaking Oster Clipmasters which I have because they are the only thing that I can clip Jiminy with. And thankfully Subi accepted his fate because these things are loud and clunky… Except I didn’t have a sharp blade so we struggled some because I wasn’t planning to use these….

Subi 2, Me 2, Andis 1, Clipmasters 1…

img_3800Still, I managed to get him clipped between both pairs (I saved the Andis for his legs/smaller places but I’m pretty sure the motor might be shot thanks to Jiminy…). And Subi was a saint once he accepted his fate. It’s not a perfect job (I skipped his head and there are a lot of lines), but he’s definitely cooler. But at least I know I can clip him!

I wonder what Nay will be like to clip…

Final score? Subi 2, Me 3 (hey, I succeeded!), Andis 1, Clipmaster 1, Nay Nay 0

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…

This post was powered by alfalfa.

Happy 23rd Birthday Subi!

If you asked me back in November, I would have told you this day wouldn’t have come. And yet, here we are. That said, there’s no way I could have predicted a quarantine. And quarantine has made me go crazy. The craziness has led to hats…

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We fought over the hat. He wanted NOTHING to do with it. And then once it was on? no big deal…

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Completely unimpressed by this birthday “celebration” but unlike the hat, he was unfazed by the necklace

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Tell us what you really think

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the HAT in all it’s glory.

 

Friday Faces: peppermint and coworker edition

No energy to actually blog but here are some faces for your Friday morning.

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Subi is not impressed by Nay Nay and his insistence that he gets ALL THE PEPPERMINTS. 

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He’s worse than a dog…

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Seriously, it’s gross. 

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But the old man still gets all the peppermints and carrots he could ever need.

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At least someone around here is sitting in a saddle…

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My new coworkers, hard at work, answering reference questions over chat. 

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. 

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.