Wednesday, July 2, 2014

If it Ain't Broke

...don't ride it?

Juuuuuust kidding. Ride it a lot.

The animal drama, y'all. I don't even know where to start.

Lex: The Horse Who Ain't Broke

Always got somethin' to say.

 This little butthead is not currently bucking, but she is also not walking. You may choose from this menu of options: Jig, Trot, or Halt. She'd probably gallop too, but I haven't asked as I am not prepared to shed this mortal coil.

M is out of town (has been for the past week and a half, but she is back late Saturday night which means that Sunday I am attacking her for a lesson if I have to). I've had some good rides on the mare, but the last three have been less than fun. I think it might be because I'm not riding her long enough, so each day she's like a fresh new horse. But I also haven't been wanting to pick fights, because I'm riding a horse alone on the farm who recently lost her marbles. I always quit when I'm ahead, and I'm telling myself that the ring footing is hard right now and I don't want to work her too much on that anyway. Tomorrow, if the projected storms stay out of the way, I'm going to lunge her for awhile and then ride her. It should rain and soften the footing, so I won't feel bad about a longer ride. I haven't longed her in months, so it'll be good for her anyway. As Chris always said to me, you have to take the bitter with the sweet with green horses.

TJ and the Ankle that Ain't Broke

Pardon the verrrrry old pic.
 This enormous butthead about did me in the other day. I was leading him in from the paddock when my mother walked out of the barn, and he fuh-reaked out and I took a front hoof directly to the fibula. If you want to break your ankle, that's how to do it. I broke the other ankle a few years ago and that was a disaster, so I was pretty pissed off at him. I texted Tracy in hysterics until my mom could get me in for radiographs. The doctor and I were both pretty shocked that it wasn't broken. I had to use a cane and an ankle brace for a few days, which made managing two horse farms, including eight dogs, a challenge. It's still sore, but I will live, and I suppose I will not kill the horse.

Rocket and the Knees that Ain't Broke

Remember when she was this tiny?
 Rocket fell on her knees--well, flung herself on her knees, really--when she got her feet trimmed yesterday. Everyone's okay, but that was obnoxious. The vet happened to be there too (juuuuust wait) and the vet and farrier agreed that "that's draft horses." They're happy to use their bulk against you and fling themselves around and aren't particularly sensitive. If anyone has draft horse tips, let me know. This is literally my second horse who is not a TB so I have no idea what I'm doing. The farrier's advice was, "Don't give her an inch."

Ink and the Summer Heat that Just Won't Break

Favorite horse of all time.
 The vet had to come out yesterday because my 33 year old love, Ink, was not eating breakfast and also didn't want to get up in the morning. He is ancient, I know. I realize we do not get to keep him forever. But we do everything we can for him. She gave him banamine and electrolytes and I gave him a cold shower, and he perked up. Today he seems fine. But the temps have been holding steady at 90-95 and he is not loving that AT ALL. I gave all the horses showers today, and each of them seemed to really appreciate it. Rocket especially loved standing in front of our big aisle fan after her bath. Poor baby.

Grayson and the Sarcoma that, Unfortunately, Ain't Broke Either

Pardon the personal shot.
 The farrier noticed this ridiculous sarcoma on our old grey OTTB, Grayson. Grayson's in his early-mid 20s (Mom would remember but I can't) and has been retired for quite awhile because he is insane. M used to ride him and she was eventually like, "...Nope." So anyway, Mom's already battled cancer with him once, and we decided not to go through treatment or anything anymore. The vet is going to band this to see if we can cut off the blood supply and induce necrosis, but otherwise I'm not sure what is going to happen. Because he isn't being ridden and really doesn't like people, he doesn't get inspected the way the other horses do (even Ink, who hasn't been ridden in like 12 or 15 years but loves any bit of attention he can get). If the farrier hadn't been holding up a foot, I wouldn't have even tried to look at it or get a picture because I'd have been likely kicked in the head. Talk about broke. So we'll have to see what happens with that.

Toby and the Esophagus that's Very Very Broke

Pictures can be deceiving.
 Toby is my mom's 13 year old cocker spaniel. He's deaf, blind, and incontinent. And now he has megaesophagus, and we're not entirely sure why. The take-away point is that he has to be held upright to eat (canned dog food in small bites) and then for 30 minutes after eating, 3-4 times per day, and he has to drink out of elevated bowls. He also has aspiration pneumonia. That car seat arrangement looks like it's working but it isn't. I had to wrap him in belts and a sheet to keep him in there, and then he chewed through one of the belts. He is hating everything about life. I am hating everything about life. Something's got to give. My mom is on call this week and is about to be gone for five weeks so yours truly will be managing this very scary, serious, and difficult condition alone. And then what if he doesn't survive and she's gone? This is a total mess.


  1. So completely agree with your farrier's advice. My draft X LOVED to throw his weight around and would do it on the ground and under saddle. Rope halters are your friend, and you have to set the expectation from the very beginning that you are the boss.

    1. She has a rope halter, but I feel like I can be more effective with a chain over her nose. Lately I carry a stick when I lead her in and out, too. This is just so not what I'm used to. If I put a chain over Lex's nose and carried a stick to lead her, she'd have a meltdown before I even used them. Yesterday the vet and I both smacked her at the same time and she kinda took a step sideways, instead of clinging to the rafters. She's a sweetheart, though. I really like her. I hope she can fox hunt, though, because I have no idea what else to do with her.

  2. Draft+mare? You are a braver soul than I.

    Hope you survive the next few days, yikes.

  3. When it rains it pours, eh? Sheesh!

  4. I have a dog with something very similar to megaesophagus (we thought it was that for a while). He has esophageal dismotility. Anyways, our solution as opposed to trying to force him into a chair of some sort, is that he eats off our couch. Hind feet on the floor and fronts on the couch with his kibble. Then we he's done we have taught him to jump up on us or a table/counter and stand there while we rub him. Not sure how doable that is with a dog with those other issues (blind/deaf), but it works fine for us (plus wood floors instead of carpet to clean up the several times a week regurgitated food). We got this dog complete with undisclosed issues when he was 4 and he's about to turn 12 in August. Vets said we'd be luck if he made it to 8. It's a labor of love caring for a dog with those issues!

  5. <3 hang in there and I'll be texting you all weekend!!