Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Goodbye 2015

This year is not ending super well, so I'm looking forward to the New Year.

Not only did Huck require stitches in his face, he has a big ol' cut on his inside right-hind hock.  He did it sometime in the morning last Friday.  I arrived at the farm to see the vet (different one from the big clinic) getting out of his truck.  Impeccable timing I have, especially since I had no idea when the vet was actually coming.

I opened the stall door to see Huck standing just outside the door in the paddock with dried blood all down his leg.  GAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!  Of course I panicked, but he walked in sound and since the vet was there I had him take a look at it. It was ouchy to touch but he assured me it was superficial.  I lunged him both ways he was sound.  Not super willing, but sound.

I shaved it up (I failed to get a photo of how it looked when I brought him in, sorry) and we got a better look at it.  I have NO idea how this one happened.  Again I looked all around the paddock for anything of the right height and the right sharpness, but to no avail.  I think he may have kicked at someone and maybe stuck his leg through the fence?

Thanking my lucky stars (and the barn owner)  once again that we have an Insta-Hot, I was able to wash the wound well with aloedine and coated it in Tri-Care antibiotic ointment.  He also got 3 days of banamine.

The vet had taken the stitches out and I wanted to hang out with Huck a little more so we went into the arena where the lighting is tremendous and discovered that the cut on his head was open about 1/8".  I took a photo and sent it to the vet who stitched him up asking if it was still okay.  He replied that it looked good.  I filled it with Tri-Care and put his fly mask back on. The next day it was even more open. It does not look infected or anything, but I am ticked off that instead of a tiny scar he's going to have an ugly one because the vet decided to take the stitches out before it was fully healed.  Good thing he's a ranch horse and not a prissy show horse.

Saturday :(
Saturday was our barn Christmas party and I made him dress up and play two pony games, regardless of his injuries.  He still wasn't really into working, but he was sound and the walk and trot and we even won a trot race against a much lankier horse.

We won the costume contest.  I was going for "Festive Elf."  "Festive" is sometimes used as a polite word for "Tacky."   We would have done more, but it was very very cold and I couldn't feel my fingers so I stopped. I had to put on my jacket after a while, too. Brrrrrrr.

We took the bow off because it freaked out one of the calmest horses in the barn!

I am thankful that theses injuries are not serious and my horse seems to be chill about it all.  I coated him with Tri-Care and gave him his last dose of banamine paste on Sunday out in the field with no restraint.  Gooooood boy.

I am home with my family in Minne-sconsin for a week and I know Brenda is taking great care of my pony. Hopefully by the time I get back we can put this behind us and concentrate on the four months until our first show...... yikes!

Happy Christmas, Happy Hanukah (late), Happy Solstice (only a day late), Happy Festivus, and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The One Where History Repeats Itself

Just when you're feeling all secure and things are going so well.....

BLAM!  Something to freak out over. I wanted to post about the awards banquet first and separately, I didn't want either bit of news to conflict with the other...

I got a text Wednesday afternoon.... isn't it weird you can always tell when there's bad news?  B simply asked if I was "going to the barn" that afternoon.... "going?"  not "coming"?!?! That sounds like danger... on further inquiry, she informs me that she's not home but the afternoon feeder said my horse had a "gash" on his head. She sent me a photo... I knew from experience that photos can be deceiving so...

Forget you, "Work Meeting", I'm off to wait for the vet... in my work clothes. I had a panic attack in the car but was able to remind myself that IT'S JUST A FLESH WOUND and HE'S NOT COLICKING.  I realized at that moment that I'll never be "over" the fear of losing a horse.

You may recall me getting a similar call back in 2010 when Junior decided to test the resiliency of equine facial skin.

He survived the ordeal and had the scar to prove how interesting he was.  I've already told Huck he is only allowed to emulate his late brother-from-another-mother this one time.  No more.  We have no idea what he did it on.  Three of us combed the paddock and can find no plausible danger.

The current theory is that his girlfriend punched him in the face.

Apparently she's taken to striking the boys instead of just squealing and tossing her head.  In case you're wondering if she could get her front hoof that high, watch this snippet from the recent film Unbranded (which is worth seeing for the scenery if not for the crazy): Unbranded Cactus

Huck fared better and worse. He only received 9 stitches (3 subcutaneous) compared to Junior's 14, but it was grosser and deeper and far too close to the eye for my comfort level.

I got the call at 4:30pm and the vet didn't get there until after 6 so it was a chilly worry-filled wait.  Eventually B came home and between us, her husband, son, and Kevin's owner, Huck had quite an audience for his little surgery.

The vet and tech were both really great.  I hadn't met either before, as is likely in an equine emergency when your regular vet and back-up vet are both busy.  They answered all my questions and were kind and helpful. Huck apparently takes a LOT of juice to sedate and between the tetanus booster, the antibiotics, the sedation, and the locals, he had a countless number of needle pokes that night.

I found it interesting that they had a giant foam/vinyl box called a "bale" to prop his head on.

I look warm... but I was not.

Sleepy drugged pony.  Owie.

He had a drain until Friday and the wrap came off on Saturday.  He's been doing really well.  He's spent the week in a stall and to everyone's surprise has been relaxed and chill the whole time.  B, having been a nurse, has been a tremendous care-giver this week.  I am so thankful that she takes such good care of my boy.  She's had to give him Banamine paste (that's done now) and mix his grain with powdered antibiotics, shredded carrot and Aloe Vera Juice... which btw is amazing for helping digestion/ulcers, etc.

I tried the helmet, but he shook his head and the side leather ended up over his eye, so no.

Who was that masked horse?

Kevin and Shadowfax wondering what they have to do to eat the grass on Huck's side of the fence!


I rode him lightly today and he did great.  He's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and cuddly. At this point we are just watching for any late signs of infection and either the stitches will fully dissolve, or we'll get the vet back out to remove them.

Our weather has been incredible and with the brand new Insta-Hot bathing system in the barn (yeah, I board at Horsie-Heaven) I was able to wash his mane and tail on Sunday.  What a treat to have soft clean hair in December!  His scratches, btw, are doing a lot better.  Just being in the stall is helping, but I did get a tube of Desitin today to see if we can get rid of that last stubborn spot.


Hey, you remember those 4 Ranch Shows I went to with Kevin? Well, we had our year-end banquet this weekend and Kevin and I were...

"Top 3" in Ranch Riding AND Green Boxing(!?!?!?!)
Reserve Champion in Horsemanship
Champion Green Ranch Rider!!!

We won a Wenger work headstall, reins, a collapsable/movable saddle rack and....


This means that I'm buckled out of the Green Rider division but I can still go for all the classes with Huck and eventually maybe we'll be cool enough to go for the Versatility.   For now I'm planning to do Ranch Riding, Horsemanship, Green Reining, Green Boxing and possibly Trail (still has some issues with swinging ropes) and Conformation with Huck for 2016..... oh heavens we have work to do!

I'm really thrilled that I was able to take a Western Pleasure horse and work him up to being a Green Ranch horse.  I remember when I first asked him to extend the jog and when I allowed him to walk at a working pace.  I'm really proud of the improvement we made through the year, even if we had our moments of less-than-grandeur.

New headstall, reins, and buckle!
Kevin's family was out of town for the weekend and they offered to let me ride him for the weekend. It was such fun to ride him again and feel how smooth his lope is. I do not regret my choice, but Huck does not have Kevin's smoothness.  Like butter.  I had to wear my buckle on Sunday and snap a few pictures to commemorate.  

My BO/friend B and her palomino barbie horse (in the background of above photo) was Reserve Champion in Ranch Reining and Ranch Boxing.