Went up to see Raina today. I trotted her lightly in both directions and she's lame again, without work. I'm going to talk with the vet tomorrow to see which direction we should go in.
Raina enjoyed a massage today. I love massaging horses. After they figure out whats going on, their eyes close, they yawn, they lick and chew, they nicker, they'll even stretch. Raina wasn't quite sure what I was doing at first, but then she settled down into it and started yawning and falling asleep. I got a nicker as well :)
She had some knots on her right shoulder, which I kind of suspected.
We also did the 2x4 test on her. We put the toe of her right foot on the edge of a 2x4, held up her other leg and then lifted the board. If there is any pressure/soreness on the navicular bone or the ligaments, the horse will jerk its other leg down to relieve the pressure. Other than lifting her head to stare at the board as it came up (she wasn't so sure about the board, it was painted white and she wanted to spook at it), I got no reaction.
Again, I'll be speaking with the vet hopefully tomorrow to see where we need to go with this.
Ok! So you can laugh all you want now. The vet came out to the barn this morning without calling so I wasn't able to meet her there and talk with her. However, I DID talk with an amazing woman named Kathy. She's an animal communicator. Ok, get it out of your system :p Anyways, I've been wanting to get a consultation for months and I just wanted to take the time to find the right one. I've been watching Kathy for months now on facebook and read all of her reviews, and she looked pretty good so I finally scheduled an appointment.
I called Kathy and we got started. I told her Raina's name, age and color. She paused for a second and said "Is she the dark bay who's alone in the paddock or the red bay up in the field?" She picked up on Iseul's mare, Alahnna! I told her Raina was the red bay. Kathy took a couple deep breaths and said that Raina was showing her a lot of tightness in her right chest area. Her chest, the girth area and the scapula. I said I found a lot of knots over there yesterday when I massaged her and that she has been lame on that side. The second thing Raina showed Kathy (after I asked her to dig further) was that she was feeling some pain on the medial side of her right leg, but it felt secondary compared to the shoulder.
I asked her to see if Raina would be interested in team penning. After a second, Kathy laughed and said that she showed a visual to Raina with separating cows and moving them out of pen and after a second Raina said "Wait, I'm allowed to do that?" Kathy told Raina that she couldn't be too aggressive with the cows, but I would like to take her in and do it. Raina loved the idea.
I then asked if Raina was ok with her saddle and bit. She said the saddle fit fine and her response to the bit was "What, that's all you got?" Bahaha, sorry. It was just so funny. She also said that when I don't take the initiative, she does and she does whatever she wants. Very true, that's why no one at the facility could ride her since it was a trail riding facility and everyone just kind of clodhops around on their horses.
I asked what Raina thought of me and she said she likes me and thinks I'm hilarious Haha not the type of answer I was looking for, but much better than what I was afraid of hearing...like "Oh, I hate that woman".
Anyways, it was a load of fun. I understand Kathy is not a vet and I didn't ask her to diagnose anything. I've been wanting to try this for months and finally just did it. Iseul has been saying "shoulder" for a while and as I watched Raina move yesterday, she didn't want to extend. That, along with all the knots and tightness I found really fit into what Kathy was saying. I'm scheduling a chiropractor for an adjustment, which was one of the things I had thought about doing but wasn't quite sure about. Wanna get that shoulder moving back the way it should be and then address the lower leg issue if the problem is still there.
That was a ton of fun. I plan on calling back for another appointment in a couple weeks
This journal seems to have switched over to "Raina's health report" lol whatever, and update is an update.
It was cold and rainy and miserable today. The chiropractor is coming out this coming Wednesday. I just started a new job so I hope I can make it. He's supposed to be out around 2pm but my BO said I could arrive a little later if I need to since there are also 2 other horses who need seen.
I brought Raina in from the pasture and she was very easy to catch. I had to fix the fence real fast (which wasn't really fast) and walked right up to her without a treat. She let me halter her and we made the muddy descent down to the barn.
I groomed all that mud off her coat and transfered it onto MY coat and then lunged her lightly. I'd say she was about 80% better than the last time I saw her. She gave me one or two off steps but other than that, she was pretty darn sound. Satisfied, I switched her back over to the lead and just hung out with her. Rubbed her ears and her face, played with her mane, did some more grooming. I actually curried and brushed her today, where as usually I just take the shedding blade and scrape off all the dirt and if I'm riding, I'll go over her coat real fast with a hard brush. But she got the whole shibang and seemed to appreciate the attention.
I got a wonderful compliment today. The BO came over to chat and she said her husband and her were talking about me the other day. Her husband said I worked really well with Raina and Paige said that she doesn't think she could have found a better owner for her. We work so well together and she's very happy and relieved to see how well she's been doing. It made me beam.
After a short time after, Iseul and I let the horses hand graze for a couple minutes before tossing them back out into the pasture. I'm happy Raina is feeling a lot better than she did last week and hopefully this chiropractor will get her back on track when Wednesday rolls around.
I haven't updated this in forever. I started a new job and its had me so drained that I don't bother to pick up the laptop at night and scroll the forum.
Raina's chiropractor appointment went very well. The chiro knew her and knew exactly where she was hurting. He put her back together and I gave her 2 weeks (3 weekends) to rest. I came back to a wildcat!
First day I went out, I just rode around the outside arena. It was finally dry enough to ride a bit in it and we were all taking advantage of it. Raina was high as a kite and her trot was fast and choppy, but I let her move out and then went for the canter. She was giving me the wrong lead, which is weird. She's usually really good about her leads. She was lunging at the canter too, which made me laugh. Rolling her shoulders up like she was going to do something, but continuing on with the canter. By the end we got a couple nice canter steps and then I put her back.
I then gave her a bath last Tuesday...and she wasn't very fond of it. She stood for it though. Poor dejected soul...
We did some trailer loading and she went insane. Rearing like a mad woman and flinging herself around. By the end of 10 minutes, I managed to get her on the trailer twice.
Side note: She wasn't sweating. She was still wet from the bath.
We ended up going on a trail ride yesterday and it was very possibly the worst trail ride I've ever been on with Raina. She was a wildcat the entire time. Spinning like an idiot for no reason at all. Then we got down to the field where the river is and she blew a fuse. I asked her to stand while I got off and once she was still, I slid down. She moved forward the second I slid off and I popped her, and hell broke loose. She flung herself around and I hung on, and she reared twice like a fullblown idiot. I got her to settled and she stood still rather calmly but kept lifting her upper lip to smell something. There was something in the air, I guess. I hopped back on and it was another fight to stand still, though not as intense. After a few moments, Raina stood still and when she was pleasant enough, we continued our trail.
By the end of the trail, I let the reins hang off her neck and she just walked home like a deadhead.
Fast forward to today!
We just went up to goof around today. Raina was a bit sore in her girth area so we didn't do much. I tacked her up and rode her around, and her canter was a lot better. Still very unbalanced but we were in the inside arena since all the rain made the outside arena a muck pit again. She went along pleasantly though without an issue. I then untacked her and we did some free lunging outside in the muck pit. Nice and easy, nothing wild. She turned into me and when she arrived, I pet her and then walked away. She followed. I ran, she trotted to keep up. I stopped, she stopped. I turned to face her and walked her way, she backed up. It was a pretty cool thing to do and I'd like to do it again sometime.
We also mastered the blue tarp. She fight with me about it last summer and what do you know, the blue tarp randomly showed up in the inside arena the other day. I got her to go over it (finally) and then rode her over it. Its a habit now. When we pass the tarp, she walks over it. I brought her in from the outside arena without the lead and she followed...and when we passed the blue tarp, she wandered off to walk over it. Made me laugh!
I rubbed some linament on her girth area and then Iseul and I walked out to hand graze the horses. I took that opportunity to do some more trailer loading and after about a minute of deep thought, Raina walked onto the trailer without a problem. We loaded twice and then I hand grazed her again.
She's a wildcat and reminded me of that over this past week. I know a week or two of no handling really causes her to revert back to who she was but I got a full reminder on the trail ride. We are going out again tomorrow for more fun!
Raina was still ouchy in her girth area, so I decided to go without a saddle. She was pleasant enough to catch and I noticed her soreness while I was grooming. We were opting for a trail ride today so I just bridled her and off we went.
I'm very pleased with her behavior! She didn't spin once and never spooked. We cantered up this one hill that had a surprise mid puddle in the middle which took the horses by surprise. They all jumped it and Raina sailed over it and kept going. I'm glad I had all those jumping lessons a couple years ago because I didn't have a saddle on to secure me! Normally I'd make her go through mud puddles (She's been going through streams like a champ, which is a complete turn around from last year) but we were going too fast and the puddle was a bit of a surprise, so we just jumped over it. That was the funnest part of the trail!
We then cantered up this other hill and I dropped my phone and broke it, which was a complete downer. Its an iPhone so now I have to drive about an hour to get it fixed. Cantering bareback without a care in the world is fantastic...I need to go on more bareback trail rides!
We slid off a small ditch without a problem. We were above the trail and there was maybe a 1ft drop off to the trail, and Raina just eased down it. I didn't really expected her to do much else but ease into it. It was a pretty sharp drop though. Nice and easy.
We finally circled around to the back pasture and rode through the field to the barn. Raina acted like a normal horse today without one single issue. I guess she was making up for the other day where she turned into a wild cat? Not sure but I hope it lasts!
No pictures today because they are on my phone. Haha...oh well. I'll get them sometime or another.
Well, I hopped out to the barn this last Wednesday. I have my daughter with me and its finally warm enough to get her back into lessons. I didn't want her out in the cold (she's only 3) over the winter so I cancelled lessons for a while. She can stay out in the cold longer when she's older. I scheduled a lesson for my daughter on Wednesday and also brought my younger sister out with me to try out a horse to lease while I was at it.
After I got my daughter re-introduced, I left her and the instructor (I've known the instructor for almost 20 years and trust her completely) to go retrieve Raina and my sister's future lease horse from the field. We hooked them up to the wall and started grooming...and mush to my complete happiness, Raina is finally blowing her winter coat. I kind of love shedding season because I love how I can just rake off all the fur and it just keeps on coming. I find it pretty fun.
After I groomed Raina real fast I went to go see how my sister was doing. We don't know a whole lot about the pony she pulled out, other than its a haflinger named Buddy and he has gone on loads of trail rides. I really just want a safe mount for her so we can go riding once in a while. He groomed fine and I picked out all 4 feet without a problem. I saddled Raina and left her standing before saddling Buddy and trying him out first for my sister.
My sister has been around horses off and on through the years and I'd call her an intermediate rider. Confident enough to try anything but smart enough to approach it cautiously. Though if Buddy was going to do something, I would rather he try it with me than my sister. I walk/trot/cantered him and he really has no breaks, but isn't out of control. He just wants to trot. Everywhere. The transitions were smooth in the aspect that he didn't challenge what was asked. He was just very strong when it came to stopping. After a couple minutes, I tightened his saddle and threw my sister up on him, and I got on Raina.
It was a ho-hum sort of day. She picked up contact rather pleasantly and she softened at the walk and trot. I asked her for the canter and she did it. Brought her back down and out of the corner of my eye I see this yellow thing while we were trotting, and it was my little sister right up my butt, trotting on the haflinger. It made me laugh. I haven't been trailed like that in YEARS. People usually get out of the way and keep their distance when I ride, but she was right up my butt and it made me laugh. No fear. Buddy didn't care, and Raina didn't care (she likes to pin her ears when someone gets too close). Leave it to my little sister to crowd me with no remorse or regard for personal space. Its been a long time since someone has purposefully tried to annoy me while on horseback. Made me laugh.
My daughter was done with her lesson and we rode around some more while she played in the sawdust. My sister really enjoyed Buddy and was working on his down transitions. At first I had to keep a pretty tight rein on him and haul on his face to get him to slow, but by the time she was done, he was walking with a slight loop in the rein. Still had to haul a but to stop him, but she was making progress.
Raina was being very cooperative. My sister even remarked about how she stood so still and calm while I rode Buddy. After my sister got off Buddy, she lifted my daughter up on Raina who stood stone still. She usually tries to walk off when being mounted, or eyes and sidesteps when someone wants to give me something while I'm in the saddle. She stood very still though and I got my daughter situated on the saddle infront of me. We walked two laps around the arena before I gave her back to my sister. Lets face it. I want to trust Raina, and I do trust Raina when it comes to me. But when it comes to my daughter, that's a whole different story. Two laps and I was done with the trust, even though she was very good for it and cooperated calmly. Better safe than sorry though.
On a side note, I have introduced Raina to sidestepping. We didn't practice on Wednesday but we have before and I just forgot to mention it. She's confused with it (or course) and isn't quite sure what the hell I'm asking. She seems to think I'm always asking her to do weird stuff. But after I got the legs to move laterally for one or two steps, I let her walk forward and she was actually trying to think it through instead of just fighting me for it like she usually does with something new.
My sister really liked Buddy. She thinks he's hilarious with his "plow horse" way of thinking for a body his size, but we want to take him on a trail ride before she signs any lease contracts so we know he'll go quietly.
Anyways, some pics!
My daughter during her lesson. She is on a lunge line
My sister on Buddy and me on Raina (ETA: Buddy's noseband was way too big for him. Its not tight at all and just sort of hung there. I connected it because we couldn't take it off the bridle and I couldn't have it flopping around)
My daughter, Rain and me
It was a lot of fun! I was in a saddle and I actually laughed...usually when I'm on a horse, all I can think about is work. But this was kind of a fun refresher. I remembered that I can be in the saddle and laugh too (especially when my sister is trying to catch me on a haflinger). My daughter has another lesson on Sunday and I'll be taking my niece with us so she can have a lesson as well. It'll be cool :)
I noticed Raina is losing a little bit of weight. I'm not worried about it since she did need to lose weight, but I'm wondering why. I'm just going to keep an eye on her for a bit and see what she does. She's at a good weight right now, right where she needs to be. Where as before she was a chunker.
Anyways, I took my daughter and my niece up to the barn today so they could have a lesson. I just got Raina's new bridle in the mail and wanted to try it out. It matches the saddle (brown) where as her black one didn't. I'm so used to how the black looks on her that I'm kind of iffy about the brown one, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.
It was another ho-hum playday today. I had the kids up and just wanted to play around while they rode. Raina was cooperative for the most part. Walk/trot/canter in the outside arena without a problem. She did crank her tail a lot at the canter but that's just her attitude. My daughter thought it was pretty funny.
The vet will be coming out to give her vaccinations and to draw a coggins. I've been strugging with the decision for a couple weeks, but I figure I'll go for it. I might take her to a couple shows this summer to get her exposed and see how she does. It will just open the world up a little bit if I'm able to take her places.
Raina is infatuated with my daughter and I think its hilarious. Last summer she threatened to eat a small child (pinned her ears and snaked her head at a kid that walked too close by). The second she saw my daughter, her ears went up and she wouldn't leave her alone. Stood behind her and peeked over her shoulder curiously at what my daughter was doing...following her around. It was really sweet and funny. Today was no different. She steps so carefully around her and is just so interested in what that small human is up to.