Sunday, March 25, 2012







Saturday morning I went out to feed a little later than usual.  I turned Pink and Dazzy out to get some grass and heard a loud thunking noise coming from up by the house.

I went up, Cartman was at the gate so I put him up in the barn with some hay (we were going for a lesson Sat. morning).  I went back to the paddock, no Taj.

I headed for the shed and was horrified to see Taj's head over the divider and I could see the hay net was pulled down and under pressure.  Uh oh.

I'd had no coffee, wasn't even really dressed, and had just gotten up, brushed my teeth and headed outside; I was completely unprepared for problems.  I had no knife.  Luckily I always tie everything with a safety knot and all I had to do was pull the string to set Taj's leg free.

He seemed a little, confused and took a couple of funky steps backwards.  I carefully lifted his foot up and got the haynet completely free.  His leg had no outward signs of trauma but it was a little shakey when he tried to step down on the foot completely.

So, I started the cold hosing. 20 minutes worth.

Then I gave him 1.5gm of Bute and put him in the barn.  I then ran back into the house, downed a cup of coffee and found some standing wraps.

Crap.  What a week.

I've used hay nets for years, I know they must be tied up high.  I always loop the string back through the bottom of the net so that they don't sag unduly as they are emptied.  We used them at the racebarn and I've probably filled, oh, I'd guess thousands of them over the years.  I have never had a horse get hung up. 

Almost a year ago Flo and I found a source of clean 50gallon barrels.  We drove down to Portland and I picked up 6 barrels.  I had intended to make some barrel feeders to replace the haynets.  I, um, didn't get around to it until today. 

 PSA: Don't procrastinate!!!!!
Horses are born trying to kill themselves- anything you can do to make life safer for them is going to pay off.  Do it now.

So, today Todd and I got those feeders done.  Here are some photos of the day. 

Like any stationary object in Wa. they'd started to turn green.
What's this?  A hoarder's house?

Oh, it's Todd's garage!

Draol and Girlie sunbathe, while we work.

Lookin' pretty happy!

First barrel.

Quickly becoming my favorite tool, the hole saw!

Installing barrel feeders in the shed.

More holes needed.

Looped as tightly as possible on the chain, no room for hooves here!

Pink checks out the new feeder.

The girls check out the feeders, while Todd and I head to work inside the barn.


Taj loves his feeder!

We had one feeder that we'd previously cut in half sideways.
The misfit feeder.
Todd's version of sexy cowboy bathing in the water trough.

Todd got stuck.  I laughed so hard.  I tried to pull him out, but he was really stuck.  He finally yelled at me "Just flip me over!!!"
                                   Cartman gives the misfit his seal of appoval.

Later in the day I pulled Taj out again.  Todd grazed him for a few minutes.  I hosed his leg and the swelling had really come down. 


I think I'll give him one more day of stall rest and wrapping and if all still looks good he can go back out.  We'll be on vacation after Friday so he won't be doing much except hanging out with Pinky anyway.  :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Allergic Reaction

Oh my goodness, my poor Pinky looks like Muhammad Ali after a bad fight.

I went to bring her an Taj into the barn tonight and noticed that she had hives on her face, and then on her neck, and her lips, up oh.

By the time I got her inside her eyes were swelling and her lips too.

I put in a call to my vet, who was just here yesterday for shots.  Good lord.

Any way he was on his way back from Costco and would be here in about 20 minutes.

By now she was extremely peeved, and was rolling and then pawing.  Really slamming that foot into the stall mat.  I left her alone and noticed she was a little calmer, so I did a few little chores, fed the other horses and waited.

She was really hot by the time he got here, and had broken out a little sweat on her face.  Her eyes were so swollen, poor girl.

He gave her a shot of Dex, part IV and then the rest IM. 

Within a few minutes she seemed a little better.  The swelling seemed to be going down already:)

We visited for a bit while she hung out, he checked her gut sounds (OK, not great, but not bad either).  Doc left me two more shots for tomorrow and the next day and cautioned me about the slight possibility of founder from Dexamethasone.

I've seen it given to a lot of racehorses and never had one founder, so I'm hoping that we don't have any troubles there.  Given how quickly she was swelling up I think the benefit certainly outweighs the risk. 

Hopefully Pink can catch a break soon.

These photos really don't do the swelling justice, she looks like a cartoon horse :(

For contrast, what Pink's face usually looks like:

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Taking care of Business

Since I've been riding really consistently three+ days a week I decided to do a little maintenance stuff this week.

Cartman trotted and walked the 5 mile trail three times last week and I can tell it is getting easier for him.  I thought we'd take a little break.   Monday I hauled him down to Longview Fairgrounds to meet up with the chiropractor.  It was rainy, grey and gloomy, oh, and COLD.  I had gotten up two days in a row to snow on the ground.  Agh.

C didn't have any major issues chiropractically, he did have the usual sore spot on his right hip.  This has been an ongoing thing that only shows up when the spot is really prodded.  I try to get him adjusted periodically and hope this will stop happening as he gets more muscled and fit.  I can't find any problem with saddle fit and I consciously check my balance as I ride to make sure its not me causing the problem by leaning.

Also his right knee was out a bit.  After his session he dropped into that soft arena dirt and rolled, and rolled, and rolled- right over!  Even with the shark fin withers he flung himself right over.  I hear he's now worth at least $200!

After leaving work a little early Monday I had to stay until 4:45pm Tuesday,  so no horse activities except for the standard stall cleaning, paddock cleaning and feeding on Tuesday.

Today, Wednesday was spring shot day!  A little early this year but I wanted C all up to date before he goes to stay with my trainer while we vacation the first week in April.

Everyone got the standard 5-way, WNV, and Rabies vacc.

Cartman was such a good boy, he didn't even have to be tranq'd for sheath cleaning.

Taj, Cartman's older brother, is pretty much his opposite, although he was really quite well behaved today!  Since we knew he'd need drugs for sheath cleaning Doc just gave him a nice cocktail right off the bat.  It certainly made giving him his shots a lot easier.  He didn't even try to run over me or kick the vet.  Oh happy day.

The girls were all perfect for their shots, love those mares!

Tomorrow I need to put a call in to Pinky's hoof doctor.  Every day I pack clean cotton into the small opening between her shoe and the keratoma tract.  Then I put Neosporin on the coronet area to try and keep that crack from spreading upwards.  Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be getting any better. The hoof is growing but there is still a vertical crack extending all the way up. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cartman/Karen-2 Rainycrap-0

Ha!!!! How do you like that Mr Doom and Gloom

C and I did about 7 miles today and didn't get wet :) 

We dodged rain and snow and managed 1 1/2 hour ride in the sun.  Amazing.  It was really fun and he was very well behaved.  We worked on changing speed at the trot, I'm trying to get him to do this without using rein cues and only seat and leg.  Its definately a work in progress.

Hope everyone else gets some sunny rides in!

We have two months to go until Mt. Adams :)  I think he'll surely be fit enough for a 25 there.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Heavenly Horse

Today is the last one, of the next ten days, where it is not forecast to rain.  Sigh.  I hauled out late to ride on the jogging trail.  It was 5:38 when I finished up chores and loaded Cartman.

I saddled really quickly, made sure I had his attention with a few ground exercises, and hopped on.  C was ready to go!  We did some jogging, stopping, reverse, slow jog, stop, back, turn on the haunches, jog.  Etc.  After about ten minutes we headed out into the sand and got a little aerobic work out for another fifteen minutes.

He got the right lead on the first cue!  Yeah!

C was blowing a little when I pulled up and headed back to the gravel trail.  The sun was setting quickly so we took off at a fast walk.  I have been trying to get as much walking as possible on this gravel path in hopes of building some good strong bone.  C has spent a lot of time on soft footing since last fall and I'm hoping to ease him into going for distance on logging roads and harder packed footing areas.

By the time we got back up to the end of the park by the trailer it was almost dark.  It was really pretty,  I could see houses in the distance with lights shining in the windows and heard frogs for the first time this year. 

It was a lovely evening on a lovely horse!

This week was a really productive one.  I rode five times.  Three of the five were even outside and I didn't get wet! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunny Sunday, After Noon Anyway

Here's the day in pictures.

Starting out Cartman and I headed into Longview to Willow Grove Park.  We were meeting up with a group of riders that I really enjoy taking the young horses out with.  They ride at this park on nice days and are really fun.  Its great exposure for C to get out, see some new stuff, and be around a larger group of horses.

Cartman watches fishermen lining up for the boat launch

Cartman watches the launch

Cartman spies an attractive log home across from the park

We took a break from the action to snap a couple of pictures

Heading back down the beach to the trailer, Cartman admires the Columbia River.

We got in about two hours of riding at Willow Grove, lots of walking a little trotting and loping thrown in here and there.

By the time we got back to Castle Rock it was noon.  I set C up in his stall with some hay a two full buckets of water.  I went in for a little snack and to check

About 2pm I headed back out and loaded up for round two.

Just as I was leading C out to the trailer I saw Michelle pulling out with her truck and horse trailer.  I bet we're going to the same place, I thought.

Todd tucked the dogs into the back of the truck and we drove the short two miles to the jogging path trailhead on Cooks Ferry Road.

Its been quite a while since I've hauled out twice in one day!  But the reason was to try something out.

Don't laugh.

Yes, its my 16.2 hand leggy TB in a Crates Reining Saddle.  Doesn't he look adorable???

Yesterday Todd and I headed up to the big yearly sale at Tack Room Too in Olympia.  The big draw was 20quart buckets for only $6.99!  Ivermectin for $2.79!  I really needed to stock up on buckets and they are almot $14 at the local feed store.  Ridiculous.

So, I have had a dressage saddle for sale now, off and on, for three years or so.  It is a Max Hopfner saddle imported from Germany and very well made.  Unfortunately it was also very very narrow and did not have the humongous thigh blocks so popular now in dressage.  I guess you could say it was a great older saddle, just "out of style".  I called Tack Room Too to see if they would be interested in taking it on consignment and they said possibly, or could take it in trade on a new saddle.  Hmmm.

I really needed another saddle.  You never know, I might actually find someone someday that wants to ride Dazzby or Taj!  Crossing fingers.  Unfortunately I only had one saddle that would fit any of them.  I love my Specialized.  Love it.  But they just jumped the price up on new ones and I can't see buying a Specialized in the Western Style, with horn and all. 

So there it is.  My mid-life crisis.  Hard to believe that a dyed-in-the-wool life-long english hunter/jumper rider would ever do it but I did.

Here's a few more pics, but look fast, its Washington in sunlight!