Saturday, May 19, 2012

Riding Roxy

Today Roxy was sound enough to be ridden! Hurray! I was so afraid that she would need the stifle injections. I decided to do something really easy. I thought I would do some flag work. Roxy used to carry a flag just fine, but she hasn't in years.

What a hot mess. It was awful! Roxy got big eyes and was snorting on the ground, but she calmed down ok. So I mounted up with the flag. And Roxy shot across the arena side passing as fast as hors-ishly possible. Not happening. I did not want that kind of movement with her injured stifle. So I instantly dropped the plan to do a whole flag, and my trainer suggested just holding a pvc pole. So I did that. Roxy couldn't have cared less. I rubbed it against her barrel, her neck, her rump, both sides, held it up into the trees above us so that it would make lots of noise.

Naturally I will be putting some 'decorative' flags up around her stalls. They are bright white, and will flap in the wind, they are loud, and they will be around her 24/7. Roxy is getting re broke to a flag.

Roxy horse gets to graze when she is injured. Being hurt isn't too bad. 

Hobby Horse Blog Hop

Here are the rules:
Answer one or all of the prompts. Link back to Living a Dream's post. Visit other blogs. And don't forget to ask a question of everyone else!

Dreaming (lucky duck) got to see Buck and attend a demo! So the Blog Hop is Buck related, fun!

1. As Buck was working with a horse and throwing a rope so it touched the horse all over its body, and tickled its legs, Buck commented that we must prepare our horses for the unthinkable. What 'unthinkable(s)' have you tried to prepare your horse to deal with, and how did you proceed?

I always start off desensitizing horses with a rope, similar to how Buck uses it. Around their barrel, flanks, cinch area, and then tossing it around them. I like my horses to not be scared on trail, or to be spookish around cars. My horses live in stalls next to a busy road, and I love it. Traffic doesn't scare them one bit. I like them to be able to carry a flag, and for plastic bags to not be terrifying. 

2. Buck suggested that his assistant "rub bald spots" on the horse. He asked us to think about how a mare would comfort her foal by nuzzling and licking him, and how that might feel. In addition to rubbing your horse, have you found ways to comfort him/her when he or she is tense or needs reassurance?

I talk to my horses a lot. I stroke their necks, and I know that my voice is reassuring for them.  

3. When asked how to make a horse stand still, Buck replied that you really can't. He suggested that the rider "use the energy for a worthy cause" and make the horse move his feet; make the horse 'do' something. Then, after doing that for a time, the horse might be more inclined to stand still. Does your horse stand willingly? What types of exercises might you ask your horse to perform instead of standing still?

I like side passing, tracking, gymkhana, pleasure. I mean the fundamentals of riding, turning, responding to leg pressure. I love Buck's philosophy about using the horse's energy. You can't force a horse to do anything.  

My question.... Do you let your horse hand graze?

I used to let Roxy hand graze. And now her ground manners are awful. She is always trying to graze, so she is on very strict orders to never hand graze. If she is wearing a halter, bridle, or is being worked she is not to eat anything. It just spills over into other terrible ground manner issues. 

Gideon is in the same boat as Roxy. He will probably never be allowed to hand graze his entire life. 

Dolly on the other hand has great ground manners. She has earned the right to hand graze all that she wants. (note how that was not 'whenever' she wants ;) )

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update on the Herd!

Dolly is still awaiting her shoes. We are quite sad that she needs them, but she is getting older and it'll help her to have them.

Roxy is not nearly as lame as before! Two weeks later, and she is showing signs of improvement! I am so so excited. I thought for sure that she was going to need the $200 stifle injections. She is still quite lame, but so so much better. Please send happy thoughts her way.

It was super poor timing for Roxy to lame herself because if she was wound I would get to run flags at a rodeo! They are a girl short for flag runs. We literally don't have any other horses that will do it. So sad.

Gideon is doing quite well. I bought him some rice bran, so we can start packing on the pounds. He's looking amazing too. I emailed some photos of Gid to the boyfriend and he didn't even recognize him! All of the horses are 90% shed out, and Gideon is especially beautiful. He's looking less dappled on one side, but his other side looks very dappled, so it's a mystery! His coat is looking super shiny and beautiful too. I've had him about 2 months now, here are some before pictures.

Emaciated, depressed, and extremely poor overall. Gideon needed some serious TLC.

2 months later, I am happy to say he is doing great! His ground manners are improving drastically, his coat is so shiny (a sign of health), he has gained about 50 pounds, and he is such a happy little guy!

 Here is a video of Gideon turned out. 

I got a new phone! It's an HTC Vivid, quite a step up from my little samsung strive. This phone is super cool. I took that video with it, and most of the pictures that I have recently posted I took with it. I can give it verbal streaming commands, like "send text to mom, how are you?" or I can search google automatically. It's super cool, I highly recommend buying one. It's a million times better then the iphone and for far less moola.

Anything cool happening to you?

Monday, May 14, 2012

All That I Know

Hello everyone, my name is Gideon, otherwise known as colt, mustang, Gid, and now less often- bad horse. Here are all of the wonderful things that I know.

 I know that I am happy with my new mommas! So happy in fact, that I smile every time I roll (which is often).

I know that the sun feels good against my shiny new coat.

I know that wormer tastes awful!

 I know that baths won't really kill me.

 I know how to be lunged. But I still get confused often.

I know how to be so freaking handsome it might kill you if you look for too long.

 I know that I might always have this permanent reminder of my horrid past. This dip in my between my hips might never go away.

I know that my hooves don't hurt anymore. 

Oh did I mention that I know how to be ridden? While these silly two leggers are bouncing around me, treating me like a baby I already know all of this stuff. On Sunday they discovered that I could be ridden. I know leg cues, verbal commands. I am a very good boy under saddle, on the ground I might try to out muscle you.

I also know that those two ladies are my moms, and they love me very much. They feed me hay, groom me, pick out my hooves, and just enjoy me. In return I'm super handsome, and do not hurt them. It's a good deal.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ok, so I have always been into really cheesy phrases, and lately fitness. I borrowed this from a friend's tumblr. She is a fantastic person, and my best friend so I imagine that she will forgive me.

My birthday is coming up! I would really like to reflect on my 18th year of life and say that it was fantastic and magical. But it just was not that great. In fact, it was really difficult. I finished high school, I went off to college. I did awful there socially, emotionally, and my grades were bad. I wasn't as happy, healthy, or as nice as I'd like to be. Overall I am really sad that I didn't like college. I struggle with regrets, I'm consistantly trying to talk myself into not regretting things that I regret. During college I regret that I didn't learn as much as I wish I did, and that I didn't put enough effort into anything. But I think one of my strongest strengths is knowing my weaknesses. 

I have some personal goals for my 19th year of life. I would like to work harder & smarter, be more dedicated, and to slow down. I am constantly in a hurry everywhere I go, and everything that I do. I want to show Roxy, I want to train really hard. I want to take her to a rodeo to run barrels. I would like to run for bulls only rodeo queen. I think that would be really fun for both of us.

What are your summer goals? 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Vet

Today was madness at the ranch. I left work early, hoped into my car, and then prepared myself for the crazy!
I as soon as I jumped out of the car I was giving a list of pretty much all of the horses to halter and leave in their stalls. My fantastic vet went from stall to stall giving 2 shots, and checking teeth on over 30 horses across the ranch. Some (like all three of mine) were getting a little extra. Here is what he said about them.

The hole under Dolly's chest is still open because there is some foreign body still in it. But he doesn't want to do surgery again since it's really fine (I've been meaning to tell Dolly's story forever! I promise I will eventually). My BO/trainer says that she wants it to close up. So we are going to shoot peroxide into it, hose it off, and blue coat it every day! I don't think that it will ever close up all the way, but at least her mouth did!

Roxy's lump will probably be there forever, and her lameness is in the stifle. It pops, and has fluid in it. He said to give it a week, my BO says she will probably need injections. This kills me. Only partially because of the cost, but mostly because Roxy isn't even 10 years old, she already has one condition and she doesn't need one that will affect her comfort for the rest of her life. She is a gymkhana horse, her stifle gets a lot of use. And she truly loves to be ridden, and to run. I would hate for that joy away from her.

So what about Gideon? I haltered him with a stud chain- he is super rude on the ground, so he'll be in a stud chain for a few weeks as he learns to be respectful. I told the vet that he was a rescue, we've had him for a month. The vet says just to feed him alfalfa to gain weight, but at nearly $20 a bale that's a little out of my budget. So I'll be putting him on red cell and rice grain, bran? I forget which. Beet pulp was suggested by a friend, but my BO instantly vetoed it. It is really hard on a digestive system, and Gideon is not strong yet. He does not need his teeth done, and I found out his age!

So how old do you think this handsome boy is? 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mustangs Like to be Dirty

With Roxy still up, I've had time to really work with Gideon a lot. Don't worry, the vet will be out on Tuesday to give shots, and to give an exam to both of my horses. Unfortunately that means I have to stop buteing her so the vet can see exactly where she hurts. My BO/trainer says that if Roxy's lameness is permanent Gideon's getting a bullet to the head. He's not winning any points from her. As for me, I can't even begin to think about that option.

So due to all my spare time, I decided that Gideon would received his first bath yesterday! I knew that it would be tough, but he really needed one, so I armed myself with a stud chain, a hose, some dandruff shampoo (poor little guy was having some dander issues!), and a rubber curry. Off to the turn out with went!

He doesn't tie very well, and I knew that the water would scare the bejeebies out of him, so I held him the whole time. I tried it at first with a little sprayer on the hose, but I couldn't get the pressure right so I ended up taking that off. I hosed him down the first time, and he was scared, but he did ok. I shampooed him up, and curried him like crazy. His rump with still quite dry, which I found kind of funny. I didn't clean his mane or tail, that's for another day.

Once he was all lathered up I went to hose him off. Oh my lord. You know how people ask who's the one getting the bath, the horse or the human? Well I got the shower. I was so wet. But it was hot so I didn't mind too much. Poor Gideon fought so hard, he got a little cut on the side of his cheek. :( I couldn't leave him soapy though, so I quickly did the best job that I could, loved on him like crazy, and then took him home where some I gave him an appetizer to his dinner. Tomorrow I'll get a sponge out to get the rest of the shampoo out of his now beautiful fur. Who knows, that could have been his first bath ever!

Haven't my people noticed? Mustangs don't like clean!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The First Sit

For the sake of time, this will be a quick little post. Yesterday I had the first sit on Gideon McBadhorse (did I mention Roxy is still lame?). I turned him out for about 15minutes, I cleaned his stall, I laid out new shavings (it is FINALLY starting to dry out!), I tacked him up, and lunged him in both directions. Then I lowered a stirrup quite a bit. I put my foot in it and paused. Gideon's feet froze, not out of fear, but out of obedience- because that is what he knew he was supposed to do. I lowered my foot back to the ground. I wiggled the saddle (pretty aggressively), and then I placed my foot back in the stirrup. I popped up, then back down. Up, then back down. I lowered my foot to the ground once again. After a few more aggressive shakes, and some high jumps beside him, he continued to stand frozen. So I put my foot in the stirrup one last time, and this time I swung my leg over him.

Wow. There is nothing comparable to the feeling of sitting on a horse that has been labeled 'crazy'. He didn't move a single inch.
"Good boy!" I told him, along with severely strokes against his neck. Then before it could turn sour I landed back onto the ground. This was where Gideon was rewarded with more pets, and more 'good boys'. I also joked with him that if he seriously injured Roxy he would need to step in as my new riding horse, so he better get the hang of this quick. Maybe he isn't Gideon McBadhorse after all...

Who me? I am an angel! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wind Puff?

I head out to the ranch today to check on my Roxy horse, and to teach my favorite lesson. I do stalls, turn out my mustang- whom is in so much trouble right now, and then I go to look at Roxy. She's still lame, in her stifle, and the lump is still there on her cannon. So my trainer/BO says that Roxy's lump is probably a wind puff. I am so sad for my sweet Roxy horse (notice how she's 'sweet' only when she's hurt?). I don't know much about wind puffs, so I did some googling and some asking around. The internet pretty much just told me that a wind puff is fluid in the fetlock joint causing it to be squishy and puffy- not what Roxy has. She has a hard lump on her cannon bone, from an injury with my mustang.
The lump in question.

I think that there must be other types of wind puffs though- because my BO is so good. If she says that's what it is I'm guessing there is a 80% chance that is what it is. The vet is already coming on the 8th to give shots, and do checks. Roxy has lumps in her back again from her condition, but they aren't bad. I would try to snap a picture, but they wouldn't show up. In fact- no one except for me can even see them, you can feel them much easier. Back to the lump!

I am just so sad that this happened to her. My boyfriend tried to go with the perspective that it's a 'battle scar' but it's my Roxy, and I hurt her! As much as I would never again want another Roxy, I love this one. She's just 10 years old, and if it's a wind puff it will never go away. My BO says that it won't affect her soundness, but it'll be there forever. I guess I just have to wait for the vet and see what he says.

Oh did I mention Dolly is also lame? Her club foot is so bad that she needs shoes. Ughhh I like my horses barefoot.

I am sad for my little herd! Dolly needs shoes, and is so lame I can't even turn her out, or hand walk her. Roxy has a wind puff, and is lame in her stifle (I even gave her bute today). And Gideon is in the dog house for all of the ruckus that he has caused.

Not to mention I'm getting burnt out from work. I think I need a vacation stat! Maybe I'll talky my mom into an overnight horsecamp- that would be loads of fun, and it is much overdue for us both.

Please guys! What do you know about wind puffs? I need to gather up as much knowledge as humanly possible.