Horseluver, that really stinks that you broke your collarbone!! Man, I've been riding on a near daily basis for so long I can't even imagine how insane I'd be going not riding for a month! My hat is off to you.
I'm so thankful for the trails! When I first moved Lacey "in" I was really worried about only having the trails (I really don't have access to any sort of arena-like thing, there's the pasture but because of Lacey's sight, anything more than a slow trot can be dangerous) but I really shouldn't have worried. I'm just so thankful for them!
And thanks for the good luck wish! Good luck to you too, with your collarbone and all! :)
Haha Christine. You're hilarious.
I do have two more terrible cell phone pictures from yesterday that I suppose I could share... My parents went on vacation for a week and removed their camera from my possession because "what if they found a picturesque anything??"
Well, um, guys, I have two picturesque horses that are picturesque on a daily basis, no "maybe"s about it = GIMME YO CAMERA! But yeah, my camera got basically ruined last winter when I took it riding in the pouring rain and water got in the screen - ruined the screen. It still functions picture-taking-wise but it doesn't have a view finder or anything so taking "good" focused pictures with it is a challenge, to say the least.
Thank the LORD they'll be back tomorrow evening. Thursday=picture day, ladies!
For you, so no one perishes:
Lady. I was "forcing" her to play dress up yesterday. I was really, technically, trying to spook her so she'd build some brain matter that way (though, really, Lady is smart enough. With MORE brain matter, she could be the first female president). However, as you can see, she was nonplussed by the whole thing.
For the record, Lacey's blanket does not fit her at all. It's only a 69 and it's HUGE on her!!
Lacey. "I SEE YOU FEED ME. CAN I HELP???!"
It's so funny (maybe you guys can tell this from the pictures), Lacey is definitely an introvert-type and Lady is definitely an extrovert. However, Lady is also the more pessimistic mare, while Lacey is always looking for the joy at the end of the tunnel. So funny how they can be just SO different!
Lacey has a lesson this evening with her least favorite lesson kid. The kid is super sweet but she just doesn't "get" the whole "being clear with cues" thing. However, she is 7 and comes off as a pretty immature 7 so I'm thinking that's probably a lot of the problem. I guess it's just frustrating to me because I've been teaching her for over a year and she's still a beginner beginner, not nearly ready to trot or anything. She does really well when we play games so I try to keep her lessons pretty light on skill-based things and heavy on the "learning but not realizing that learning is happening".
And poor Lacey wants so badly to be "right" that she kind of just shuts down when this girl is on her back. However, if I can keep the girl focused via games, Lacey has a much better time of it.
I think tonight we're going to play "Mrs. Horse" (a variation on "Mr. Fox", if you've ever played that).
(c+p from another thread):
Basically, you set up some obstacles that the child can maneuver without a whole lot of help. Then, the child, on the horse, is placed on one side of the obstacles and you go to the other side. Then, the child yells to you "Mrs. Horse, Mrs. Horse, what time is it?" and you said "Time to __do an obstacle of two___" ("go three circles around the purple bucket, back up 2 steps, and trot over the log" is an example).
Then, the child completes those and stops by the last thing he/she did. Then, they yell to you again "Mrs. Horse, Mrs. Horse, etc" and you keep telling that it's time to do something.
The "goal" is for the child to slowly be making their way closer and closer to you (I like to send them back to the beginning a couple of times, just to be mean )
Then, once the child has stopped within 10 or so feet of you, and asks what time it is, you yell "FEEDING TIME!!!" and start "chasing" the child and horse. Since the kids I play this game with are just walking, I walk after them, but your job is to catch and "eat" the horse (aka, tag the horse).
And I think that instead of having her ride, I'm going to have her lead Lacey and I'll lead Lady so we can each take a turn "being in charge". I've never done that with her yet, usually I'm just "ordering" her around, so she'll probably think it's great to order me around for a change! She also needs to work on her leading skills so that'll be another bonus!
And it'll be good for Lady to think like that. I would let Kae lead Lady (she LOVES Lady) but Kae just doesn't "get" that horses could really hurt her, or something, and I pretty much know she would not take appropriate precautions while working with Lady.
Anyway, that's what we're doing this evening.
This morning I lunged Lacey just a bit (no new cuts on her legs! Yayyyyy bell boots?!) to get her moving and Lady wore the mullen mouth snaffle for probably an hour. She seemed to accept that one a bit more than the broken snaffle so yay that I have something that works for her! She was still making all sorts of faces about it but she was a bit (lol, puny!) more content.
She was also easier to bridle than she was yesterday. I think she may have never been bridled before yesterday (or at least, never bridled "the right way") given that she pretty much flipped her lid about me raising the bridle over her face and then refused to open her mouth for the lonnnnngest time. But today she was really pretty quiet about the bridle going over her face and I just held the bit to her front teeth, kept my other hand on her poll, and she opened her mouth within a minute or two. Yay for improvement!
In other news, she was a real brat about her food today. Like I said before, I have a specific feeding behavior regime that ensures no one is pushy about their food.
Well, today when I brought her food over, she briefly pinned her ears a few times at me before I went in the stall so I got my handy halter/whip (it's this crappy halter that could be a halter if need be but it's also a great "spanker"), just in case, right?
She put herself into her corner, got her treat, and promptly left the corner, so I shooed her back in. Then, she kept breaking her "stay" before I said she could so I kept shooing her back.
After about 5 minutes of this, she was FED UP. She then kinda turned to me in a weird way and started swinging her butt around, preparing to kick me. Thankfully I just hollered at her like she was a small child about to fall over a cliff and she promptly fixed herself and went back to her corner, where she stayed 100% perfectly (and I made her stay there for another couple of minutes so fake kicking was not rewarded), until I let her go. She was SHAKING in the corner too.
I'm just glad I didn't try smacking her with the halter, that WOULD have gotten me kicked.
She's really weird about confrontation. Lacey will do everything she can to get out of an argument while Lady will stand her ground and fight back if you push her too hard mentally or physically. I'm not sure I like it. It would be one thing if she didn't know she was much bigger than me and could hurt me but she definitely knows that she can hurt you so you better not push her too far... >.<
Yaaaaay for idiots raising an orphan foal! You guys did a FANTASTIC job! NOT.
Thank Jesus she's slated for training in September, before she kills me. I bet/hope that with more training, she'll figure out how to better handle her issues. I think right now it's just a lack of real knowledge and, what feels like to her, a need for self preservation that's "forcing" her to do things that are totally unacceptable.
Lacey used to be like that undersaddle and I fixed it but she was never like that on the ground. I guess I really don't have a whole lot of experience training horses on the ground. I'm pretty handy at solving things from the saddle but groundwork from step 1? I'll just look at you with blank eyes. I can usually start at step 5 (if there were steps, haha) and make out ok but earlier than that is proving to be a challenge.
I hope they're going to send her to a good trainer. Not some NH, Parelli shmuck... She would love Parelli, yay for no rules! Can Buck come over here and train/put the smack down on her?? Plllllease?
On the plus side, if I'm going to foster her through the winter, they've said that they would love it if I went out to the trainer's place and worked with Lady and the trainer while she's getting trained. That would be so cool! I'm sure I would learn a ton in general, even if it is some shmuck trainer. so I'm just a smidge excited for that.
And, I do have threeeeee, ok four, whole pictures for you. No good camera yet - TOMORROW! But they are photographic images so there!
Chewing the bit hardcore. Silly horse! Also, look at how great she's looking, weight-wise!!
Well, today and yesterday have been terrible days Lacey-wise. Actually, really, on a scale of 1-North Korea, it could have been much worse.
The cause of this miserable-ness is because Lacey is having ANOTHER freaking ERU attack. I have no idea what caused this one and I'm feeling overall very helpless to make her feel better.
I was really hoping that she had somehow beaten the odds (I think it's something like the 6 months after a ERU attack are when the likelihood of another attack is the highest) and wasn't going to have another attack for the rest of her life and we were going to live happily forever together and it was going to be THE BEST.
Yeah, and rainbows were going to follow us everywhere and Lacey's poop would turn to gold, and all wildlife was going to be our bestest friend, and we were never going to worry again, I would never have to return to school, sparkles and puppies would fall from her mane, kittens from her tail, etc, etc, etc. Yeah, RIGHT.
But yeah. Frustrating. At least, on the total plus side, because of last time and all the ERU research I've done, I had a pretty good idea of what to do and not do.
So yesterday, as soon as I really noticed, I gave her some bute and called the vet. The vet was crazy busy so I gave her more bute in the evening and today Lacey's eyes were/are looking SO much better.
I finally was able to talk to the vet today and we came up with an action plan that made me feel so much better. Basically, when I see swelling like ERU, give Lacey 2g's of bute the first day and 1g/day for the next 3-5 depending on pain levels. I'm also supposed to give them a call on the first day, just so they know, and then "be sure to call if anything about her eyes makes me nervous". I just love my vet. Even though they can be hard to reach sometimes and I wish I felt like the vet knew more specifics about ERU (she point blank told me that Lacey's the first really bad case she's seen beyond Purdue), they REALLY make me feel empowered to take care of LaceyGirl and the vet and I, I think, have similar personalities so we're able to really get somewhere when we talk. It's just all over a really good thing. And they never make me feel dumb for requesting a call or emailing them with a question. It's just overall really great.
And, to top it all off, the receptionist knows me by name and knows who Lacey is and what her problems are and I haven't called alllll that often.
It's one of those things where, hopefully not happening soon, but when it comes time for Lacey to leave us, I really trust that this vet will have Lacey's best interests at heart and that she'll be as respectful as she possibly can towards Lacey at that time. It's morbid and terrible to think about but Lacey is getting to an age where "Is this a vet I would trust to put Lacey down?" seems like a reasonable question to consider.
Anyway, the swelling was noticeably down today but her eyes were still obviously very painful (any time I took her flymask off to check her eyes, she'd start trying to worm her head back into the mask, lol) so we've still got a bit.
I'm really hoping that she'll feel good enough tomorrow to have her flymask off for the new lesson kid. We're getting a new kid (lol) tomorrow at 11am and kids seem to be generally adverse to being unable to see her eyes. Sorta reasonably, I suppose. But hopefully she'll be feeling good enough. If not, we'll make it work.
Today she felt ok enough to teach her today kid how to lunge so that was good! She wore the flymask the whole time and was very happy. But her today kid has been riding her for about a year so she's not bothered anymore by the flymask.
Then, both girls got their hooves trimmed today. The farrier also cut the shanks off my favorite pelham for me as well so now it's "The Best Snaffle In The World (TM)"! Lacey's going to luuuuuv it!
Lacey was great, as always about getting her hooves trimmed. The farrier loves her and she loves him right back, it's pretty great. She even nickered at him today after he was done working on Lady. It was hilarious, especially considering that she's not a huge huge fan of men. He's actually the first guy I've ever seen her actually like. She tolerates them but doesn't usually genuinely like them.
Lady, on the other hand, was NOT a fan of the farrier. She was REALLY scared...and even though we let her sniff everything and he went really slow, she got mad. She tried to kick him about 3 times, however, it wasn't very serious kicking and he just hung on her leg until she gave up so that was good. Then, the other back leg went perfectly fine. I guess she just had to get her anger out with the first leg.
In any case, as he was leaving, he turned to me and said "I just love trimming your horses, they are just SO easy to work with!" ................um, were you there when I was? Did you see what I saw??? SHE TRIED TO KICK YOU. That is NOT easy!!
But I guess if he wants to think my horses are easy, cool story bro. Silly farriers!
But yeah, that's pretty much all for today. Nothing too exciting.
Hopefully Lacey's feeling even better tomorrow!
And, when Hallmark makes a movie about Lacey because she's cool, this'll be the cover. Sneak preview time!
"Equine Recurrent Uvietis: BATTLEDOME"
Lacey and I had a new lesson kid this morning and SHE IS GREAT. She's just the kind of kid we love - high energy, focused, respectful, and super into learning EVERYTHING about horses. And she laughed at all my corny jokes. Not bad, right? :P
Anyway, that was great. Lacey's eyes still hurt but she was ok with me taking her flymask off for the hour long lesson so yay for improvements!
Hopefully she'll be feeling well enough on Monday/Tuesday to go for a ride. Lady's getting a bit nuts from lack of excersise and since I snuck the horses back into the field I freelunge in (also the field the AOM -Angry Old Man- feels entitled to) I don't really want to be seen in there and get screamed at again...
Lady is doing SUPER well with her feeding time routine now. I guess she just had to test me to see what would happen because since "The Incident" she's been very polite about recieving her food and waiting for it. Horses!
Then, today, [I'm really excited about this, btw] I FINALLY got the stuff together to add a little outside area to each mare's stall. That means that next time Lacey's eyes act up, I can "lock" her into the stall and not worry that she's being silly and standing in the sun somewhere. That also means that in bad weather during the winter, I can stick her down there and not worry about her slipping in deep mud/on ice/slushy snow etc.
The LOM (Little Old Man-aka property owner) was very concerned that I was going to kill myself with the t-post driver he let me borrow from him. Little does he know that at camp, every summer for the last 5 summers - on the second day, it was my "job" to construct the "arena" out of pipe fencing and 16-20 t-posts. In one day. Just 4 t-posts (I used step-ins for the other 4 non-supporting pieces) is NOTHING compared to that! And I have technique! Haha
Anyway, it was cute that he cared but funny. I guess I was raised to be as self-sufficent as possible, in every way, so getting help for something I can do myself with a little effort? Seems silly.
And it's so rewarding to look at something you put up yourself and say "DANG girl! That's some nice work!"
Anyhoo, It went much more smoothly than I had really thought it would. I had already measured and planned what I was going to do, out on paper, in a to-scale drawing, so all I really had to do was just place posts and run tape.
I put actual t-posts on all the corners and used step-in posts for the other areas. I may go back and re-do the step-ins with t-posts, just to make it more sturdy, but we'll see. The girls are both super easy on fences and I made each area large enough that they had a little walking/thinking room, no feeling cramped, so I don't anticipate any fence demolishing...
And I know, you are dying for pictures of this magnificent thing I created. So here! :)
[the girls went and each stood in their own stall pretty much as soon as I was done banging the t-posts in. They just let it go up around them! And they just stood there, watching me, not messing with things, just watching. Silly cute girls!]
"Captain, I believe a trap has been sprung..."
And Lacey. Of course. In her "face jail". And see? I fixed that flymask too! No more nasty purple fluffy stuff around the edges.
Lol Truuuuue story. Shoulda mentioned that: Tomorrow/tonight caps are going on the metal posts and the step-ins (the white ones) are so wobbly that they couldn't stab anyone if you TRIED to use them as impliments of stab-age.
Neither girl has any sort of inclination towards going over things but it only takes once so safety first!
So I figure I can mope again since this is my journal, so sorry guys. :P
Basically, I forgot about this after Lacey's last ERU episode but when she comes down off the bute "high" (she gets 2g/day of bute for the first day or two of an episode since getting the inflammation in her eyes down ASAP is top priority) she gets SUPER depressed. The vet laughs about it and says she's withdrawling but it's really not all that funny to me. It would, of course, be hilarious if it wasn't my dear old lady horse that was going through it.
So we're right in the withdrawl stage right now and it's pathetic. I actually had to hold her lunch bucket today so she would eat it at all. Ridiculous.
Then, when she's like this, I feel terrible in my life because she's so special to me and bleck.
Then, to top it all off, I've been reading up on bute and, unlike what I had previously though, small doses of bute can cause reactions that are just as bad as big doses. So, since she needs something to be comfortable on a daily basis, I just spent a ridiculous amount of $$ (FIFTY DOLLARS.) on a bucket of horse asprin and a bucket of this stuff that has yucca, devils claw, willow bark, grape-something, and all these other "natural" painkillers. I'm hoping that I'll be able to dose her with them in small enough doses that they last for quite a while while taking care of her pain. They were both the best deals for the amounts of "stuff" in them (the others I found were half the price but had <1/4th the amounts of ingredients - if I feed at the dose of those cheaper products, the ones I bought should each last for over 5 months being fed daily) but that doesn't make my bank account happier.
I figured as well that I might as well get two very different things so I can see which works better when, etc.
That's the really poopy thing about ERU, there's no set cause or rhyme or reason to the disease. I just have to play around and figure out what works best.
I'm going to start a daily journal of weather conditions/what I feed Lacey and what Lacey/Lacey's eyes tells me about those things. I was reading and that seems like the "best" way to figure out what works for that particular horse. I figure that I always have about 10 minutes of waiting while the horses are eating so if I start using that time to jot down some notes, I might get somewhere.
On the plus side of things, the girls seem to really like their new larger stalls! Yay for that!
Also, on the plus side, I was really bummed becuase I thought I was going to have to get rid of/not use that pretty flymask I had re-done for Lacey because thinking back, her eyes have been "angrier" since I started having her wear that one all the time. I checked the box of it and that one doesn't say anything about UV protection while she always comes out of the Kensington masks she wears with her eyes less puffy/angry than they were when the mask went on, and those masks do have UV protection, according to the box.
However, I was just trolling around the net looking for anything possible about ERU and I found that someone suggested lining flymasks with a double layer of "shade cloth" to make a cheap version of the Guardian Mask. Sooooo, I'm going to find me some shade cloth and make it happen. Hopefully that'll do the trick and we can still use that adorable mask.
I'm sorry to hear about Lacey's recent 'episode' but I'm very glad that you're keeping an optimistic and are looking out for Lacey! Hope she does better/you can find something that will keep her feeling good.
Thanks for the well wishes- it's been extremely hard, especially because this fall has made me realize that my new horse & I are not a good match and it's time for him to find a new home. Which is sad, but that's what's best for him & myself.
So not much has been happening lately. Lacey's still slowly recovering but she's been doing well enough to go on a ride on Tuesday and a ride today. She really enjoyed herself both times. I'm really thankful that our trails are pretty shady. We do have to walk through the full sun to get down to them but once we're down there, Lacey's eyes are pretty comfy.
I am mildly frustrated with her, well not with her tchinically, but with circumstances, because she KEEPS cutting up her hind legs with her hooves while getting up/laying down at night. I had had upside-down bellboots on her which had been helping a bit but she somehow ended up cutting herself right below the bells and that cut gets aggravated if I put the bells back on... So, vicious cycle repeats. It's been VERY frustrating. Hopefully we'll get it figured out soon. I think I might try putting just one bell on one leg (the right, the left is the one with the cut), maybe that'll somehow help...Like encourage her to keep her legs farther apart or something...
Lady is being an enigma. I've basically stopped all real "work" with her besides ponying and our daily respect during bathing/food/fly spray/bridling/grooming/sunscreen time thing. I've decided that I'm not really qualified to deal with her issues so I need to stop trying to push buttons and just let her soak in how real horses behave. So no more lunging/things that REALLY push her boundaries, just little things that help her become a really easy to deal with horse Not to mention, if she is indeed pregnant, a bunch of lunging probably isn't great for her.
Today I bridled her for, I think, the 4th time. She did GREAT. I've been sticking the bit in her bag of rice bran pellets so it has some "tasty" powder on it when it goes into her mouth. She's not a huge fan of the bridling/unbridling process - her teeth seem to be extremely sensitive and though I really try not to hit them, the lightest touch of the bit to her teeth seems to be super uncomfortable - but she's coming along well. Today she just held the bit in her mouth with very little fussing or anxiety-ish chewing, I was proud.
But, really, Lady is coming along super well. She's figuring out the rules and she pretty much adheres to them. She's definitely a tester though.
On the plus side, speaking of testing, since the near kicking incident, she has been ah-MAY-zing behaviorally at feeding time. She gets in her corner as soon as I appear with food and stays there until I say "ok". Sometimes she'll shift a little but a simple "ah-ah!" sends her right back, or deeper, into the corner. She really wants to be good, I think.
And, guess what. I have like 15 pictures for you wonderful journal readers. I already made one picture thread this week so this journal gets today's pictures. Yaaaay!
Stylin' with a 'tude.
Lady's looking SO good!
"I'm looking good too, right?"
Eating, like always. I feed her SO much and she's still a little ribby. Well, so much compared to Lacey: her ration balancer, suppliments, and 2lbs of rice bran, daily.
Lacey eating her nighttime snack like a G (I'm transitioning them to an evening feeding schedule so when I start stalling them overnight next week, they'll already be accustomed to going into thier stalls in the evening). She is such a dork with her legs. Apparently it was "too difficult" to go all the way into her stall...
"Hrrrrrmmmmm! Mah' name is LACEY and I have OPINIONS."
Awww. I LOVE her eye in this one.
And because I can't decide which one I like better: