Sunday, May 29, 2011

From the COTH site

This may have already made the rounds on the internet, but I just saw it over on COTH and thought it was funny enough to share.

How many horses to change a lightbulb?

* Thoroughbred: I changed it an hour ago. C’mon you
guys – catch up!

* Arabian: Who ME?? Do WHAT? I’m scared of light
bulbs! I’m outta here!

* Quarter Horse: Put all the bulbs in a pen and
tell me which one you want.

* Standardbred: Oh for Pete’s Sake, give me the
darn bulb and let’s be done with it.

* Shetland: Give it to me. I’ll kill it and we
won’t have to worry about it anymore.

* Friesian: I would, but I can’t see where I’m
going from behind all this mane.

* Belgian: Put the Shetland on my back, maybe he can
reach it then.

* Warmblood: Is the 2nd Level Instruction Packet in English?
Doesn’t anyone realize that I was sold for
$75K as a yearling, but only because my hocks are
bad, otherwise I would be worth $100K? I am NOT
changing light bulbs. Make the TB get back here and do it.

* Morgan: Me! Me! Me! Pleeease let me! I wanna do
it! I’m gonna do it! I know how, really I do! Just watch! I’ll rewire the
barn after, too.

* Appaloosa: Ya’ll are a bunch of losers. We don’t
need to change the light bulb; I ain’t scared of the dark. And someone make
that darn Morgan stop jumping up and down before I double barrel him.

* Haflinger: That thing I ate was a light bulb?

* Mustang: Light bulb? Let’s go on a trail ride,
instead. And camp. Out in the open like REAL horses.

* Lipizzaner: Hah, amateurs. I will change the light
bulb. Not only that, but I will do it while standing on my hind legs and
balancing it on my nose, after which I will perform seven flying lead changes
in a row and a capriole. Can you do that? Huh? Huh? Didn’t think so.

* Miniature: I bet you think I can’t do it just
cause I’m small. You know what that is? It’s sizeism!

* Akhal Te ke: I will only change it if it’s my
owner’s light bulb and no one else has ever touched it.

* Andalusian: I will delegate the changing of the
light bulb to my personal groom after he finishes shampooing my mane and cleaning my saddle, but only on the condition that it is changed for a soft blue or pink bulb, which reflects better off my coat while I exhibit my astonishing gaits.

* Cleveland Bay: I’m busy. Make the whipper-in and
the hounds do it.

* Saddlebred: My ears are up already, please, please
get the &#/~..# light bulb away from me! I’m ready to show, really, I
promise I’ll win!

* Paint: Put all the light bulbs in a pen, tell me
which one you want, and my owner will bet you twenty bucks I can get it
before the quarter horse.

* POA: I’m not changing it. I’m the one who kicked
the old one and broke it in the first place, remember?
Now, excuse me, I have a grain room to break into.

* Grade Horse: Guys? Um, guys? I hope you don’t
mind, but I went ahead and
changed it while you were all arguing.

Where does it Hurt?

Too bad you can't ask your horse that question and get an obvious and succinct answer.  Fortunately, we have Dr. Joe Lally to help interpet the answer for us.

As I mentioned in a previous post Dazzby was having some hind-end lameness issues at our last ride a week ago.   Friday afternoon Dr. Lally arrived from Bend Or to help sort out any chiropractic problems that might be contributing.

He immediately went straight to the left hind, as had Dr. Foss at the ride.  Dazzby knows the doctor now, and she has always been a very accomodating horse, so we've never had any problem with him working on her.  At first she always has kind of a concerned look but as the session goes on she usually relaxes and seems to enjoy it!  Sometimes she even leans into the pressure.  I interpret that to be "Yeah, right there, that's the spot!!!"

Waiting for the Dr.


Ok that's getting really close

Todd and Dan had to stop by and watch, Dan thinks its magic!  Dr Lally can make Dazzby's back muscles ripple all the way down her back.

Right there!  Let me lean into that, don't stop!

Flo and I took turns holding Dazzby and quizzing Dr. Lally

Using the Mclaren Red Light to increase blood flow to the affected area.  Flo has one of these lights, so he showed us some particular areas to target.

Dazzby had her head/neck adjusted as well.  She is a headshaker and I'm hoping this can help her get some relief from that as well.
It was an interesting session, we asked a ton of questions and did a lot of talking horses.  We were the last appointment of the day at 5:00.  When I finally got in the house it was after 8:00!  I love my animal vets and chiropractor, what human or small animal Dr spends that much time with a patient!

Now Dazzby is turned out for a few days and we will start back Monday or Tuesday with light work, if that goes well we should be able to get back to our regular schedule and the Renegade Ride in the end of June!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I can't Comment

I'm not sure whats going on, but I can't post any comments!  I tried to reply to a few comments and also tried to comment over on the Hoge Homestead blog and couldn't get it to work over there either.
The boys playing, several years ago - Taj in red, Cartman in green

Today I visited Cartman.  He is looking awesome, like a real horse now instead of a gangly skinny baby.  Sean was riding him out at the beach and he went through a small pond that actually went over Cartman's elbows, it was pretty deep and he did it like a pro! 

I'm thinking I might be able to ride Cartman at the Donna Snyder Smith clinic in October, he's doing leg yield, etc.  and it not quite as green as I was thinking he was.  I can't wait to get him out on the trail this summer.

Cartman as a 2yr old

Shannon:  I'm glad he liked the Pot Pie, it wasn't near as good as my Mother's Pot Pie though.  Unfortunately her's starts with a whole chicken!  She cooks from real scratch.

Aarene:  I'm going to give my shoer a call this weekend, although I believe he has already shod her to try and keep her feet from interfering.  I have the Chiropractor coming tomorrow and he's going to see what he can do to help.  She's been sound since Sunday, so I'm hoping its a temporary setback!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Don't worry, things aren't always as bad as they appear.

Thats what the fortune cookie said, that I opened up Friday moring  while I waited for my coffee to brew.  Yikes, not really what I wanted to read the morning we were leaving for Mt. Adam's ride.

I'm all out of pictures from Mt. Adams so I guess I'll just ramble on a little.

Dazzby hauled over to Trout Lake well, and we were there early enough to take a little leg stretcher ride on Friday afternoon.

The LD didn't get to take the orange loop, and it headed out of camp right by our camp so I decided to ride a little of the 12 mile loop.  We headed out across a couple of fields and were promptly greeted by a cute pony and a small appaloosa wearing the dreaded grazing muzzle.  Side note: I did find mine and actually managed to get it on Draol for one night.  Now I can't catch her!  She's a wily one.

This trail had a little bit more rock than the trails we would ride Saturday and also a very LONG fairly steep hill.  It was SO cool to be out on those beautiful DRY trails amongst my favorite variety of trees- the Ponderosa Pine.

I was just enjoying the solo ride with my girl and she was forward and seemed to be having a good time too.

After we had gone a few miles we turned around and headed back to camp.  Surprisingly, although Dazzby hadn't broken a sweat on her neck she was quite sweaty under the saddle and on her flanks.  It ws a little more humid than we are used to and also a little warmer over here.

We vetted in and then went over for hamburgers and hot dogs, supplied by the ride management.  I wish I had remembered to charge the camera battery because I would have taken more pictures.  We saw the most lovely pinto horse pulling a cart around the ride camp.  It really looked fun, and the horse was a real cute mover too.

I did a little shopping at the American Trail Gear store.  Finding a little scrubby mit that I think I will attatch to my saddle for vet checks.  Dazzy is quite itchy on her head when I remove the bridle for vet checks, to the point of being quite rude- as I'm usually the closest object to scratch on.  It's very hard to hold her, so that someone can take her pulse, while she's using her head like a battering ram on me!  I'm hoping a quick scratch with the little mitt might alleviate some of the itch, or perhaps I'll just sponge her head when I come in to the vet check.

I also purchased a fly mask with built in sun shade at the top, right above the eyes and finally an electric blue strip of "mane extension".  I'm debating on using it on myself, though.  For some reason I've become interested in putting a bright color stripe in my hair, but I'm too scared to further damage it by the bleaching which would be necessary to get a nice true color.

 See I warned ya'll I might ramble on a bit....

Back to the ride.

Saturday morning I was awoken by a light rain on the trailer roof.  Ugh. Oh no, please no rain!!!  By the time I acutally got out of my sleeping bag and dressed the rain was gone.  I snuck Dazzby away from the trailer while Glen and Flo saddled and headed out to the starting area.  

We worked our way around the ride camp grazing and watching all the beautiful horses warming up and milling about at the start area.  We saw Aarene and Fiddle, looking ready to complete their 50 mile ride and wished them a good ride.

Finally it was time to get ready  ourselves.  Dazz was really calm so I didn't feel it necessary to warm her up under saddle too much.  Consequently I got to talking to Flo's friend Pat.  Pat had come over to volunteer and get her young horse out for a little riding and some ride camp experience.  She's really fun, and is another experienced horse woman so is, of course, very interesting.  Before I knew it, I had 10 minutes until our start.

I saddled quickly and caught up to Alex as he and Taker were headed toward the start area. 

We had to walk across the paved road and across a big bridge  to get to the trails.  Dazzby was dawdling, but Taker was ready to go.  They had to wait for us to catch up, but as soon as we hit the trail we were off!

It was SO nice to be back on forested trails.  We were winding around in the woods on good soft trail and the horses were eager to go.  I really love this ride!!  The weather even cooperated and we didn't even get rained on. 

This first loop was kind of deceptive.  We were actually going up, up, up but it was gradual enough that you did't really realize how far up you'd gone.

Alex's horse Taker is a Racking Horse, so he can go downhill really fast.  Dazzby is, as you know, not a gaited horse.  She can't go downhill very fast.  I see horses (especially Arab's) flying down  the hills so fast they barely seem to touch the ground.  Unfortunately my TB mare isn't quite that light on her feet and I have to really slow down going downhill or risk putting a lot of concussion on her front legs.  Alex was so considerate, he kept asking me if the pace was OK for her and having to slow Taker down on the hills.

That being said, my girl can power up the hills.

Before I knew it we were back at the paved road and walking into camp.

Dazzby pulsed down immediately and I headed over to vet.  She passed the vet with mostly A's but a B (I believe) for gut sounds.  We then went back to the trailer and got some lunch.  Half way there!

The second loop was 12 miles.  I remember some of it from last year.  We did a little more walking during the first half of this loop.  There was a long section that parallels the river that had quite a bit of rock on it.  At one poing Dazzby seemed to be moving a little funny.  I pulled up and got off to check her back feet for rocks (she has pads in front only).  She didn't have any rocks in her feet, so I climbed back on and we continued up the trail.

We did some hills, and a section of stair step trail that climbed quite a bit.  All of a sudden we burst out into a beautiful grassy meadow.  Ridecamp from last year!  The photographer was set up in the field but I don't think we got a good picture.  Dazzby didn't feel quite right as we trotted across this field.  I kept trying to figure out what it was, had she stepped on a rock with one of the un-padded back feet?  She wasn't headbobbing, but her trot felt slightly uneven.

Taker tanked up at the trough, I mean tanked up,  I was teasing Alex because Taker wasn't that interested in moving quickly when he was in the lead after that water stop.  I told him he was carrying an extra 50lbs of water weight! 

Somewhere along the way we were trotting down a slight incline.  Suddenly Dazzby stumbled hard.  I saw the ground come up, way too close, and was just about to kick loose of the stirrups.  She went down all the way on front left knee, but managed to catch us with her right let and pulled herself back up.  Thank heavens for a strong mare.  I thought for a second we were gonna be rolling down that hill.

Alex pulled Taker up, he must have heard the scrambling.  We walked for a few minutes and checked for wounds, or pulled shoes.  Dazzy appeard to be OK so we continued back on the last half of loop 2.

Through out the rest of the ride Dazz seemed OK, but she did stumble behind a few times.  It kind of feels like she's going along and suddenly her hind feet just seem to drop out from underneath her for a split second.

Glen and Flo, doing the 50 caught up with us, and passed us a few miles from camp.  The seemed to be having a great time flying through the single track trails on their Tennessee Walkers Hotshot and Dixie.

Back in camp Dazzby finally really drank a good bit and pulsed down right away.

We went straight to the vet and after a few minutes it was our turn to vet out.

She again had good vital signs and vet scores.  Until the trot out.  I took off at my usual trot-out pace.  Dazzby did not.  She lagged behind me, very uncharacteristic of her.

The vet said, she wanted to have another vet watch her trot, as she saw consistent lameness.  I was surprised (Dazzby is a very sound horse) but not surprised (something kept feeling "off" intermittently out on the trail).

Dr. Foss watched the trot and immediately went to the hind quarters.  He massaged her rump muscles and she fliched a bit.  He explained what he was seeing, an uneven drop of the hindquarters when viewed from behind.   A reaction to palpation on the hindquarters.  A very uneven gait.  Basically, a lame horse.

I'd already adjusted to the disappointment of getting pulled.  What I wanted was reassurance that she would be OK in the long run.  I explained about the hard stumble and he told me to bring her back in two hours to check for swelling or other possible problems.

We walked back to the trailer. 

By now, I'm going thru the whole ride in my mind, trying to determine when I first noticed that nagging feeling that she felt not quite right.  I examined her legs, front and back.  On her left hind she had had a small scab where she had knocked her ankle with the other foot at Milwaukee Road Rail Trail.  I had thought it was an isolated incident.  She hadn't had any troubles since that ride and the scab was almost healed up.

Not now, she really clobbered that same spot again.  The scab was gone and in its place a big bloody sore, it actually looked like the surrounding hair had been clipped.  Aha.

A few hours later we went back over.  Dr. Foss was busy so Dr. Jen watched us trot.  She called me back after about 2 strides.  I then had to wait for Dr. Foss again.  Apparently things weren't looking any better.

While we waited, I watched the Dr. treating a lovely red roan pinto horse.  Any self pity I was feeling quickly vanished as I watched them treat this horse for an apparent colic.  Things can always be worse ya know.

When it was again our turn, I showed the vet the cut on her ankle and explained that she had done this at our last ride as well.  He checked all four legs for any tendon issues and found no heat, no swelling.  After watching Dazzby walk on the road he said that she was really moving close behind.  Her lameness was determined to be caused by "severe interference".  With a prescription of bute for a couple of days and ice, if I could, her left ankle.  A visit by the chiropractor was also in order.  Also, the Klickitat Ride was not necessarily off the table.  I will just have to wait and see how quickly she recovers and use brushing boots on her hind legs.

As of Sunday afternoon Dazzby trots completely sound on our driveway and there has been no swelling in the ankle.  Whew.  I am treating the injury with Derma Gel and am currently searching for the ankle boots.  Unfortunately they weren't with the grazing muzzle!

I had kinda forgotten about that fortune cookie, until I found it again while I was putting on my rubber boots on the back porch Sunday afternoon.  There it was again, sitting on the bottom step.  It had apparently flown out of the garbage sack when Todd pulled the plastic string to tie up the sack on his way to the big garbage can.

I picked it up and re-read the fortune, I surely hope its true.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mt. Adams Ride-Getting Ready, Getting there

I actually cooked a real casserole for the potluck, here are the beginnings of my favorite food: Chicken Pot Pie

Some favorite ride foods, carrots and apples are for Dazzy.  Missing are the iced Starbucks coffees, strawberries, spinach dip and TurkeyJerky.

Here's the pile of stuff I had to take,  waiting for Glen and Flo to pick me up.  Its a little smaller than the pile that went to Home on the Range Ride.  I am learning to cut out non-essentials and thankfully didn't need to bring as many horse blankets as its a little warmer now that its MAY!  Our neighbor's father saw a similar pile the morning of Milwaukee Road a few weeks ago and thought I was kicking Todd out of the house.  A few minutes later he went by and saw the saddle and thought Todd was kicking my stuff out!  Too funny, luckily the rumor mill was quenched when he saw the horse trailer and us packing up to go ride.  Gotta love a small town!

almost to the scarey Hood River Bridge

Its narrower than it looks like in this photo!

Thats the side of the bridge looking straight out the passenger side window

Ooooooh!!!!!! Getting close now.

The ride Camp with the BEST view.

How many dogs do you see in this photo?  I saw two, until I realized the pile next to Pat's chair was just fur!!!

Here's how the Pot Pie turned out.  Thanks to Pat and Flo it actually did get brown on top.  Apparently, constantly checking it, actually slows down the baking process.  Who woulda known????

Yummmmy potluck!
Next up:  Lame today, sound tommorrow- first pull 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New addition

This morning I was searching (in vain) for the grazing muzzle.  I had it hanging in the feed room until December or January, at which time I remember thinking that I really should put it up, so it didn't get all moldy or dusty before I needed it again.  Now, if I could just remember where "up" was!!!

Anyway, as I was searching I picked up a couple of horse blankets that I'd piled on a tack trunk and a big wad of hay/insulation/and unidentifieable stuff fell out.   ICK!!!!   A mouse nest.

We lost our good barn cat last Oct.  His replacement was a miserable failure.  Actually I think the replacement was crazy.  We never did name it because every day it was just like the cat had never seen us, the house, or anything here before.  It was a feline version of that movie 50 First Dates. 

After six weeks of keeping a litter box in our hay barn because crazy cat would not come out for ANY reason.  I got sick of it and we put the crazy one outside.  She was never seen again.

So back to today.   We went into town so I could get a coffee at Jozo's coffee shop and then headed over to the animal shelter.

Here she is, and she is really cool.  Playful, funny, and affectionate- hee hee- sounds like one of those stupid Zoosk commercials.

She's already curled up for a nap with me in the recliner, batted the dog in the nose and jumped up onto Todd's shoulder from the floor!  Let's hope she makes it as our barn cat!

Friday Ride

Good ride, 10 miles of assorted terrain and one big-ass long hill in the middle.  We dawdled a little and did it in 2 hours.  Saw two deer and one large elk. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Thats the sound of me finally sitting down in my recliner, laptop in hand.  It has been a whirlwind of activity  since last Friday am!

Milwaukee Road Trip:

Was awesome!!!!!  I had such a good time. 

Glen and Flo picked me up at about 10 am and we headed out North.  We were running a little behind schedule, as we had to make a quick trip to Les Scwhab due to a flat tire on the truck.  Todd filled it up with air before we left the house and we made it to Chehalis just fine.

Les Schwab came thru again, fixing the flat tire (due to an errant screw), then checking and topping off the tire pressure as needed on truck and trailer.  They didn't even charge for it either. I am always surprised to get such good customer service, its refreshing!

As we crossed over to the east side of the mountains, the clouds started to disappear and we were into blue sky.  Yeah.

We pulled into ride camp about 4pm and set up camp next to fellow Renegaiters Shannon and Alex and their daughter Andreana.

I decided to let Dazzby stretch her legs a little on the lunge line, hoping that this would help her maintain her composure at the start of the ride this time.  We vetted in just as the wind was starting to pick up and headed back to the trailer for some fried chicken!!   Yes, real fried chicken!  I bet if anything can get my husband Todd to attend a ride some day, it might be the prospect of getting fried chicken.  Flo is a great cook and I eat better at ride camp that at home most of the time :)

It was Shannon's birthday and Alex actually baked a cake for the occasion.  Spice cake, mmmmm! 

So, the 50 milers were set to go out at 7am.  That meant that all of Dazzby's "herdmates" would be leaving her behind.  I decided to take her out for a walk/trot on the lunge again, in hopes of heading off the panic of getting left behind.  It worked.  As I saw Glen, Flo, and Shannon head up an over the hill I snuck the mare back into camp and she didn't turn a hair.

Finally it was our turn, we warmed up for about 1/2 hour prior to the start and Dazzby was like another horse for the start of this ride.  Good thing too, because a nice lady on a big bay Arab actually commented,
"She's doing a lot better this time, than at Home on the Range!"  Eeek, we must have made quite and impression at the start of that ride.

I let her go out right at the front of the pack, but we were quickly passed by riders trotting on the asphalt road leading to the real trail.  I just can't do it.  I think I've spent too much time fretting over those delicate Thoroughbred legs.

The trail was wide, flat and pretty soft and we hit her big trot and the first couple of miles flew by.  At one point I let her lope for about a mile.  She seemed to be really enjoying herself and I was too.

One section of the trail was pretty rocky, it is a new road made to bypass a large tunnel that used to be part of the ride trail.   We slowed down and walked through that section of trail but otherwise it was go go go!  Before I could believe it we were at the turn around.  It was about 8.5 miles out and Dazzby didn't have much interest in drinking water.  I wasn't surprised, she has gotten where she really doesn't want to drink until about mile 15.  I'm not sure if I should be worried about this or not, she usually drinks really well in the last half of the rides and gets A- or sometimes B for skin tenting at most rides.

We cruised back into camp and she pulsed down immediately, thank you AareneX- blogger, photographer, and pulse taker, a woman of many talents! 

For the second loop I actually remembered to take my camera.  This loop was on the other side of the freeway and headed into a little green valley.  It was a windy single track for the first half of the loop and was really pretty.

We saw some interesting things, I'm not sure what this is, but it was big.

The sky is so pretty on the dry side.

Once again, Dazzby was all business and we did most of this loop and the jog and lope, in just over an hour we were back to camp.

Here is my girl kickin' it by the trailer after her 25 miles.

Here are Glen and his mare Dixie getting ready to do the last loop.

Glen and Shannon finished up the 50 a short while later.  Unfortunately Flo's horse Hotshot hit some rocks on that section of trail over the tunnel and Flo decided to take a rider option at the out vet check.  It was disappointing for Flo, but its too early in the season to risk bruised or sore feet!  They will be back in action at the beautiful Mt. Adams ride later this month.

Shannon's horse Mojo just completed his second 50 and barely looked like he'd broken a sweat!  Here he is prior to vetting out, with still enough energy to spend a few minutes bobbing for apples in the big trough.

There are actually some small apple pieces floating in the water, they just don't show up well in the photo.

Potluck was great, lots of different foods, some particularly yummy brownies, and even lasagna.  I got a nice grey t-shirt too!  Another great ride, I just can't believe how incredibly SORE I was for three days post ride.  Ugh, I am obviously the weak link in this partnership.  If I ever want to try a 50 I'm going to have to find a way to do longer rides when training.  No excuses!