My lesson kid and I gave Lacey a bath around noon (with QuicSilver shampoo - she's WHITE now! ) but I think Lace had already gotten a bit too hot. She was pretty alert this evening but not 100% there. However, I can live with 95%, better than 60, or 50%, there!
I also stalled her today. She was much more relaxed about being in today than she was yesterday. I chose to leave Lady's side open so Lady wouldn't get to exit on her own again.
It was actually QUITE funny when I went down to feed+let Lacey out in the evening. Lady was waaaaay down at the bottom of the middle pasture, behind the shed, grazing, and neither mare was very concerned at all.
Apparently we only need to panic when Lacey is "forcibly" removed??
Something that I've been finding to be very interesting with Lady is that she pretty much automatically comes when I call her. Lacey has never done that. I always just chalked it up to Lacey not being motivated that way or something, but perhaps she doesn't come to me (she'll walk over if I'm within 15ft or so but not like Lady who will cover great distances when I call at a trot/canter) because of her sight issues!
I had never thought of that before but it could seriously be true...
I think I'm going to stall Lacey aggggain tomorrow. It's supposed to be 88* and this whole hosing+stalling thing has been working so great to keep her normal so why stop now!
Thankfully, the rest of the week is supposed to be 80* at the hottest so yaaaay!!
Also, you know what cooler weather means? That trail I found+pictures? I think so.
Also, in other news, today I got the acceptance letter from a college I applied to, to transfer there+get my BA!
It's not my ultimate top pick but my BFF goes there+I can take public transit all the way there, etc etc. So it should be ok and I'll get to go downtown on a daily basis. I love me some downtown. I'd hate being away from nature, if I lived there, but the old style of buildings is just my favorite. I also love people/style watching and downtown Portland is one of the best places for that...so I can't complain. :) Looking forward to being there nearly every day of the week!
I went up to camp and took the current "Assistant Head Wrangler" (who's like a sister to me, was my Assistant Wrangler one year when I was Head Wrangler up there) on a nice ride, just to give her a break on horses. :)
We had a lot of fun. I rode this lovely mare named Eclipse who's a fleabitten gray, 22, a big ol honkin' QH, basically my second favorite style/type of horse, right behind Polish bred Arab mares.
She was such a sweetie! I'd just point her somewhere and she'd go there - no discussing, no fussing because she didn't like where I wanted to go, just going there. She was GREAT! Can I keep her?
It was TOTALLY weird to ride a horse that could actually see though! I never really realized how much I worry about the ground in relation to Lacey but I kept finding myself catching my breath as we'd step over a log or whispering "careful" as we went downhill...it was TOOO funny.
It was a nice break to just ride and think about where we were going and focus on talking to my buddy.
Then, I got home (after taking my friend home, getting totally lost and wasting $20 of gas... hahaha Good times. NOT. ) and checked on my girls.
Apparently, Lacey felt like she needed to even out that dark gray line on her butt -where she rubbed herself SO badly last year- because oh guess what? She had rubbed the other side, under her tail, and around the top of the right side of her tail SUPER raw sometime last night. :(
I guess she wants more markings?
So that was great.
At least, on the plus side, I now have a hose+all the supplies to take care of this^ up at the horses so we're not having to trek to my house constantly to take care of this stuff. That's a bonus.
So I washed it super well with anti-fungal/anti-bacterial shampoo, let it soak in, rinsed it and the rest of her (I am wondering if perhaps the QuicSilver I used on her yesterday is causing her some sort of itchiness reaction since she hasn't rubbed herself raw alll summer, until the day I use that shampoo - suspicious), then put ointment on the owies. Hopefully she won't rub it worse tonight...
Tomorrow I'm going to take her on a ride. She and Lady are going NUTS energy-wise. She hasn't been worked since last Tuesday so she is READY TO GO. Tomorrow, my mom has kindly volunteered to "babysit" Lady and keep her somewhat calm so I can take Lacey on a just me+her ride. Lacey's so energetic right now that she would not stand for all Lady's refusing to move shenanigans and I would be the one dying...so kinda need to take care of that. Lol
Apparently Lacey's stall is the coolest? I keep finding the two of them in Lacey's stall together. I think actually what is happening is that Lady goes in there to check out Lacey's food bucket, Lacey goes in, to just stand, and Lady ends up being held prisoner by Guard Lacey. It's the best. Lacey is turning into such a turd to Lady! Haha
Her "injuries"... >.<
And of course, the Queen Ann's Lace. It looks like stars from the bottom!! <---justification
As always, I love hearing the adventures of Lady and Lacey...
I must say, I am a member of Team Lady, she's such a character... ah man! Her pictures crack me up, she always seems so taken by surprise. I know she's the underdog right now, but I love me an underdog. Love her.
In today's news, we worked on Lady's herdboundness based shenanigans.
I stuck Lacey up in the top paddock thingy (the area right inside the front gate) and, using a method I saw posted by Cherie, safely tied Lady to a large sturdy tree in the farthest, lowest pasture.
Basically, the idea is that she'll come to her own conclusions about how she should behave when left alone in a way that causes her to deal with her fear vs just running around like a maniac.
I found THE PERFECT tree to use as well. It has a very thick sturdy branch about 15ft off the ground, that's also clear of other branches so it's easy to get a rope over. It also forks off about halfway down it's length so I was able to wrap my line in a way that Lady can't pull the line away from the tree and she can't pull it closer.
I have no idea why I hadn't thought of using a tree. I had heard of the tying out/"patience pole" technique before but was always like "I don't have anywhere sturdy enough to tie to!". Well, DUH, TREES silly!
Anyway, she was "forced" to stand there for a good hour thirty, with Lacey out of sight, until she calmed her little patootie down.
I watched her from far enough away that she felt alone but I could come to her rescue if she really needed it.
She tried rearing a couple times - didn't work, she tried getting a running start and just busting things (good thing I was using a rope halter+a lunge line that has a spliced end - nothing to break) - didn't work, then she tried throwing her head around - didn't work, and then she settled.
She did continue to call sporadically (thank goodness Lacey knows that excessive calling isn't ok and thank goodness Lacey really doesn't care enough to call a bunch, I think Lacey's not panicked attitude helped calm Lady down - if Lacey had been frantically calling back, I bet there would have been more crazy) but she really did pretty well.
I got her after she had been quiet for 5 minutes, put her head down, and started licking and chewing. I figured that while she was still watchful+a little worried, I might as well take what she offered. :)
I'm a bit frustrated that the rescue hasn't helped me with this. I know them and their little NH cronies prooobbbbably wouldn't exactly agree with this method BUT, if they're not going to help, I can and WILL bring the big guns. I refuse to basically let my relationship with MY horse suffer because they're a bunch of sillies, you know?
So there. Take THAT rescue people!
I'm not sure if tying her out like that is an option while I'm actually gone with Lacey (don't want Lady getting hurt!) but I plan to repeat this a couple times before leaving Lady next time. Hopefully she'll pick up what I'm laying down, smell what I'm stinking up, etc.
On the Lacey front, yesterday I found some nylon mesh (flymask material) at the fabric store that has 90% (!!!!!!!!!!!!) UV protection!!! That'll be FANTASTIC for Lacey's eyes. Her usual masks only have 73% and for horses with ERU, more is better.
90% is like "The Guardian Mask" level which is basically the $95 Holy Grail of ERU flymasks. And if I can make a good enough one at home? SIGN ME UP.
So I'm pretty excited about that. I'm still working out the correct dimensions etc so it'll probably be a couple days before you see it, but know, I'm excited! Lol
On top of that, if I can make it work, this flymask will have only cost me $9, compared to the $95 Guardian Mask and my $35 Kensington Masks (the ones with 73% UV protection). Say wuuuut? Frugality, yo.
And then, a few pictures, for funnsies...
These are my favoritest "fancy" flowers in the world.
My grandpa planted them in our yard years and years ago and they come back every single year. The deer come eat them after they get to a certain point in their bloom but so far they've been safe.
I discovered this in my "Lacey's Eyes" notebook. Apparently my Sunday lesson kid snuck me a picture when I wasn't particularly looking... She's super cute.
From what we can tell, Lacey's vision deterioration is pretty bad at this point.
What the vet can actually see is that she has no straight on vision anymore. Anything she can see is coming through her peripheral vision. So she can't see things right next to her, she pretty much has to turn her head to see whatever she wants to look at.
The vet feels like she can see a bit out of her peripheral vision but that's still nowhere as good as it would be in a horse without ERU. The way she put it is that, to Lacey, everything is dark and very blurry. No definition about what things actually are, she has to figure that out on her own.
From what I can tell, her left eye is her "good" eye. I'd say she's pretty close to totally blind in the right eye with "more" vision in the left. She doesn't want you to lead her from her right side, she trips over things on the right that she'll walk around going left, etc. And, when she turns her head to "get a good look" at something, she always turns her head right - to look at things with her left eye.
And then there's the whole distance thing. From what I can surmise, she can see something around a 20ft radius around her body. Go any further away and she'll act like you've magically disappeared off the planet. If you suddenly come into her "circle of sight" she can't seem to determine what you are exactly until you get about 10ft away from her - that's when she'll recognize you+be happy to see you, if she likes you. Haha
From being around her, I'd say she's pretty vision impaired. It's a bit hard to tell because she's VERY self sufficient so the little things are the ones telling the story. There's definitely a major difference between a sighted horse confidently covering ground and Lacey covering ground.
However, Lacey is such a fantastic cope-r. She's developed this thing where, going downhill, she drags her back hooves and going uphill, she stabs her front toes into the ground. Maybe it's unintentional, but it has the effect of letting her "feel" her way up or down things before seriously committing to her next step. It's rather genius! Haha
And, she totally knows she's near blind and instead of being scared by that, she's just 20 times more careful.
She's so amazing. I do not even know. I can only wish that, if something like ERU happened to me, I would go at the blindness+intense pain with as much grace and dignity as she does. I doubt I could handle it nearly as well though.
I just asked, because from reading all your posts, she just seems so normal!
But like you said, she's a coper, and even without perfect sight, I'm sure she'll be one of those amazing horses who just carry on as normal no matter what...
Just had an idea, maybe it will help... If you have an old flymask that fits, that you don't mind sacrificing, maybe take it apart by opening up all the seams, and you'll have a perfect pattern to base your new mask on...
I'm sure you've prob thought of this already though! Posted via Mobile Device
Glad things have settled a bit. Not that I have all the info or anything, but that rescue is kind of making me wonder. You'd think they'd be all on finding out whether she is or isn't pregnant (not that there's much doubt in my mind. I am nearly certain that there'll be a baby out there in not too long.) to get her the proper shots and prenatal care...