Saturday, May 11, 2013

Adorable Horse Faces, Gross Horse Skin

Man, a few days back in Florida and I'm already exhausted. I think the first summer term is gonna be tough, and I haven't even started teaching yet.

I know I promised some more Rocket training videos for anyone who's interested, and I have them on the computer, I just haven't had the time to upload them to YouTube yet. I'll put them up as their own post sometime soon.

Lex has been perfect since I got back. I'm going to ride her again tomorrow and then give her Monday off. Thursday we just walked and trotted around in the ring (blech) a little while so I could check that she remembers where the gears are. Yesterday we added in some lunging before I got on, not to tire her out but because Chris, the trainer who's going to be helping us out starting next week, and Sharon both said that I should lunge her to help her find her balance. She was good about it, though she doesn't seem to understand lunging to the right as well as she does to the left. After a few minutes of that, I got on and she was just awesome with transitions, trot circles, and changes of direction. After a quiet and lovely ride, we walked all around the field on a loose rein. Great, great ride for my baby OTTB! It didn't even occur to her to get quick.

"I can't even stay awake on the cross-ties."
Today, same story: a few minutes of lunging (we need to work on this at the canter, because her balance is really poor) and then I got on. She was fabulous. We walked and trotted around the ring on the buckle, and then went out into the field to canter a bit. Until her balance gets better, I don't think it's fair to canter her in the ring. She picked up the left lead but not the right, which I'm not worried about right now. I'm sure with some help on the ground and work on balance and learning what the aids mean, she'll get there. Then she got a Fungasol bath, because she's got a couple of little rain rot patches, and I will be super bummed out if it spreads. It's hard to avoid rain rot down here, but I'm going to do my very best to keep her skin healthy. Rain rot is so gross. Baron lost most of the hair on his hindquarters last year, and half the school horses at my other job already have it.

Speaking of school horses and rain rot, I'm going to start working with a three year old warmblood gelding who lives at the riding school. He's not in the lesson program, obviously, but he belongs to my boss. He is THE CUTEST. His name is Finn. Unfortunately, his rain rot is AWFUL, but we'll get it cleared up.

"I am hard to take pictures of because I want to be in your pocket!"

The bad thing about rain rot is that you have to remove the scabs, which a) hurts the horse, and b) removes a whole bunch of the hair. Lesson ponies with big bald spots are less cute. But if you don't treat it, especially in a constantly-damp environment like Florida, the horse can get secondary bacterial infections like staph. It sucks. Cross your fingers that I can nip Lex's in the bud! I got her a fly mask. I'm not sure she likes it.

"Is this... funny to you?"

I haven't ridden Duchess again since I got back and I probably won't be able to again until Tuesday. Hopefully I can find a routine for the next six weeks that involves getting to ride her.

Mom sent me some pictures of Rocket today! Hooray.

"I need shade, Ma."

I miss that little face!
 So, skin issues aside, all things are pretty quiet on the home front. What's your favorite rain rot preventive/treatment?


  1. Haven't dealt with rain rot (huzzah desert life!!), but am loving MTG for the first round of "random ottb skin shit" right now.

    1. I AM SO JEALOUS. Maybe we'll move to the desert someday. Last year I was brought to tears by how bad Baron's rain rot was. He also has sweet itch, so he'd rubbed his belly and his tail raw. He was really underweight, missing a tooth... he looked like a meth addict.

      I love MTG too (don't love the smell, of course) but I have to make a separate trip to the barn to apply it in the evening because she's turned out all day and it's bad for their skin in the sun. On some days that's possible and on some days it isn't.

  2. I like MTG. It's gross, but it works. I usually just pick/curry everything and then coat in MTG.

    1. I have to get some more rubber gloves. I HATE having my hands smell like bacon. [Vegetarian hippie pinko queer over here.]

  3. This works, is gentle, helps with scabs and is cheap: get a bottle of baby oil, pour out a couple of inches worth, add in chlorhexadine(nolvasan or generic) or betadine, whatever you have on hand. Add the antiseptic to the approximate original volume of baby oil. If you want to be precise, make it a 1:25 dilution. Shake very well then squirt on all over the rain rot, gently rub it in to distribute evenly. This also helps as a preventative also. I know the areas Winnie & Dutchie usually get rain rot and last year I used it in these regions whenever I groomed. If I were an entrepreneurial person I would go into business and call it "Raincoat." The slogan would be "If it's gonna rain, put on your Raincoat!!" There may already be some mixed up among Winnie's grooming things.

    1. Haha! I love the marketing idea. I forgot about this genius solution! I'll be heading to CVS tomorrow to stock up. Where did you usually have to apply it to Duchess?