Learning the how of DIY (Journal) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Learning the how of DIY (Journal)

So it's been 9 days since I went from full livery to DIY. I've owned Katie 2.5 years. This is my first time going DIY and in a 24/7 turnout situation. For anyone curious that even reads this and doesn't already know I live in London UK. Am 31 yo chick. My first year owning was full livery over £1000 a month. My second until recent was £700 a month - they knocked off £100 at my request for a short while as they were using Katie for clinics as a staff member fell in love with her. But then with covid I couldn't see her at all :< That wasn't including farrier or insurance either. NOW livery is £28 a month. Hay is £5 a rectangular bale. Including insurance and farrier my monthly cost is now at a generous £260 a month. Insane right? But to be fair to myself I was so afraid of being the new owner noob I wanted full livery in case I messed up but... I was taken advantage of. But with this dramatically reduced outgoing I can afford to just relax.

It takes me 4mins to cycle there and have been spending approx 7-8 hours with 2-3 checks a day. Loving it. Not loving the farmer's tan much :P Or the heat... was 36c the other day (96f according to google). Bring on the thunderstorms!

Her sexy full UV flymask that slightly terrified some of the other horses at first :P Don't worry I only put it over headcollar to take a photo!

To say I'm not afraid is an understatement. I AM very much afraid of messing up. But the support that some of the decade-long DIY owners at this place has been astounding. In one week I've received more moral and hands-on support (ME, not just my horse) that I have in well.. years it feels. They have no real incentive to help me other than they want us to get on and love horses, too. It's a small community. Only about 17 horses max. Because most of them have been here so long its more like a family you can tell. They bicker but I've observed several times in just one week how they all look after one another's horses. If there's a problem they call one another and it's all hands on deck to help resolve it!

Katie squabbled a bit the first time she was put in but that's normal. I put her in the bare paddock with the lami/fattie lot but she tried to kick a horse through the barbed wire and cut her right hind on it. This is the only picture I had from soon after but unfortunately post-salve. It really was just a little thing though. She's had far worse and just sudocrem in the past (by staff).


That happened soon after arriving. It was healing wonderfully. Kept it clean (just saline rinse) and protected from flies. However Saturday just gone I noticed it was oozing where flies had gotten into a corner of it :< It was tender to touch but she was weight bearing and otherwise fine. In any case the vet is arriving in two hours and to update vaccinations. I am not gonna risk a joint no thank you.

Well another thing that has gotten me a bit upset about previous livery situation and A, who begged and pleaded to buy my horse when I said I was moving. Apparently the farrier had recommended that Katie be shod on her hinds before camp. But they didn't bring it up to me nor did they get it done. Her back feet are so worn down shes walking on pure sole pretty much. She always did wear her hinds down in summer but I've NEVER in my time owning her seen it this bad. The farmer even asked if she was flat footed normally! I noticed on my first walk out with her, even before her injury above became infected, she was stabbing down and not willing to go more than a slow walk, very unlike her. This was a horse used to dragging her feet/toes and stomping down at a trot. Farrier that was there a few days ago said she should be fine to wait until her fronts are due but I don't think so. I'm not happy and already decided I'm not waiting on anyone's opinion anymore. I think she needs shoes right now and so a farrier is coming this afternoon.

A also sent me 10+ pictures of her doing x-country jumping solid fences. Don't get me wrong the photos in themselves are lovely BUT I distinctly remember speaking to her while the vet was there... the vet had said "she can pop jumps as long as she's happy but you don't really want to rag her. Just keep it a leisure thing". This is a horse that back then was considered slightly lame with a weak hind end (but comfortably compensating) and if not resolved with strength training would consider xrays just to get ahead. But they somehow got SO carried away with clinics etc and absence during covid that they escalated it to do doing x-country? I let out a scream and slammed my desk so hard my cat fell off the windowsill in a panic. It riled me enough to bring it up with the YO. I don't even have Katie insured for that and they even had a copy of her insurance! YO "ah I see. Well keep in touch". Whatever. I have tried being nice but its over as far as I'm concerned.

Oh a last thing. They didn't have her passport. I had to leave it on the premises she was mostly kept - the place they rented out. By law when transporting they should have it. But they didn't even bring it with them when they brought her down. I had to go collect it myself.

Oh and one more thing. A has only visited once. A love born of convenience it seems :/ They aren't all bad and they have done some good. I'm sure they care but from where I'm sitting and I'm well aware as an outsider how it looks. The YO even text me to make sure I was taking care of Katie in hot weather. I understand she's worried but they must really think I'm an imbecile. It is what it is now. Katie is here now.


So vet visit and farrier soon today. Quite a few people love to hand-walk and ride regularly even if its just around the block. Once she's comfortable I'll be taking her out. A lady here rents out her horsebox which is brand new and Katie fits in wonderfully. She also instructs and another owner and I have agreed we'll share and do half hour each with her. She's gonna take us to a polo arena which will be lovely! I explained that its been a while but honestly I used to feel pretty intimidated at the thought of even riding at the other yard. But seeing people work with their horses here on something as simple as just riding 3 meters bareback... everyone here has made me feel at home about working at my own pace.

Will update after vet and farrier ^>^ time to go and get roasted. I didn't sleep at all last night in this humidity!


Kalraii is offline  
post #2 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 07:12 AM
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So glad you have started your journal.
I for one was getting really worried something had happened with no news or comments from you...

So, is the troublesome gelding still a problem or has he learned some manners from Katie and you??
Is Katie's "friend" who wants to be inseparable still "in-love" or has that worn off?

It hurts to have the rose-colored glasses ripped off as they were and was done to your horse.
I'm glad you now realize how taken advantage you were and your horse was pushed far harder than you were told.
As for "A", not surprised at her diligence in seeing the horse she "loves"...
Now knowing what you know went on a bit more I am hoping you not offer the olive branch to them who took such advantage of your gracious heart and horse...
I wonder about that fall she took now too...did she trip or did she crash a fence?
We won't go there though.

Yes to shoes for her to heal and grow some needed foot cause boots isn't going to work for her size hooves nor 24/7 needed to wear.
Once she grows some foot I don't see why you would need to continue hind shoes unless it benefits her.
Yes to the vet for updating vaccinations {do check tetanus} and having that what seems a simple laceration on her hock as it is a joint checked...vets professional opinion gives much needed peace of mind.

I love the eye mask for flies...can only imagine the other horses response to those huge eyes.
Now they are used to it and "so what" is their reaction...

It sounds like you have settled in, made some friends and found comfort in having Katie home under your care... yessss...........
Finding others to ride with who are not judgemental is super and someone with a float/lorry and willing to transport you and she gives lessons...
Sweet smelling stuff you have stepped in...
Enjoy your Katie...now and forever!!

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #3 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 11:05 AM
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Thanks for starting the journal, you've had a very harrowing journey into horse ownership but you aren't on your own!

I've kept my horses DIY over the years with good and not so good experiences but what I did find was how helpful and friendly most of the other owners were.

I still keep in touch with some of them after many years.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #4 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 11:18 AM
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So glad to see a journal for your new adventures! Was getting worried as well. I think HLG covered it all. Advantage was pushed so far beyond what was agreed I think more than the cat would have fallen off their perch.

I thought that the frog, heels and sole were the main areas of loading, not the outer wall. The sole will callus just like your feet barefoot. So if she is worn down, were her frogs and heels stripped away leaving only sole? Was she trimmed wrong to begin with? Or is her conformation off and she needs shoes?

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.

Last edited by QtrBel; 08-10-2020 at 11:40 AM.
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post #5 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Kalraii View Post
Ö I let out a scream and slammed my desk so hard my cat fell off the windowsill in a panic...
The statement about the cat just made me laugh out loud. Probably a defense mechanism, as I wanted to scream! How dare they! And conveniently forgetting to bring the passport along! I get stinking mad on your behalf here across the pond!!!

But, it is over with and you have her in YOUR care

And yes, being responsible for your horse is daunting at the beginning. But don't forget: you are not alone there! As you already realized, it is more like a big family that keeps the horses in one place. If you need help, there will be someone happy to help. But you got this!

P.S. Mineral-based (zinc oxide) sunscreen works for humans and horses. Or if you don't care to walk around with a stark-white nose yourself, diaper rash cream with zinc oxide works wonders
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post #6 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE of vet & farrier visit

Well vet did flexion test as well on her leg to make sure was ok and she was a bit stiff in general trotting up - it was real hard to get her going, unusually so. He didn't even give any antibiotics or antiflams after palpating it real good (ouchy!)... he said he'd rather not just in case something is embedded and we'd rather know sooner rather than later but thinks unlikely. He is actually happy with how the wound has progressed/been looked after considering its been nearly a week AND where it is so just continue as I am with rinsing it and cold compressing. He used hoof testers and she was fine there as well. He did say her feel were very worn and if I was going to take her out then to consider shoeing as she was VERY cautious on the gravel path. Or I could just leave her in the field a month while her wound heals. Vaccinations all done (every 6 months) and off he went. Just gotta keep an eye on it.

Farrier arrived. Turns out he's a farrier enlisted in the army. He was the first farrier to really take his time on each foot. Usually they are in a bit of a rush because of the chain of horses waiting. I was his only client today so maybe that helped. He agreed that her feet were worn quite a bit as well.

@QtrBel usually there is some concavity, only slight - she has a thick, big-fat-wide-juicy frog that took up a lot of space on the ground. The sole was usually around a cm "above" the frog. As in enough you'd have to pick her feet out. But when I got her not only had her frog been worn down but her sole as well. If you closed your eyes and rubbed a hand across her foot it would be like caressing a flat slab of concrete. Is it meant to be like that? It just felt too extreme but maybe my eyes aren't used to it. And her heels are just.. fleshy bulbs. Nothing there and a bit tender. Unfortunately if I want to take her out the ground is hard and the trail is gravel. But most of all she was walking like she was was a ninja trying not to set off a nightingale floor and very resistant to move out. I don't doubt it'd grow out and callous itself - especially as I would be considerate of their condition. But she's already begging to come out and is bored. So will give it a cycle and then take them off and let her feet figure it out. Just feels she's too sensitive right now. I'd like booties but dinner plate feet and £... you know how it is :P In any case I'm gonna judge over the next few days. If she's moving more comfortably then that answer itself and if not I know for next time.

@horselovinguy yeah she's not being harassed anymore. Caught her grooming her boyfriend Toby. But most of the time she is a loner on the outskirts. Noticed some others are the same. She seems very clingy to ME at the moment. She comes when called and when I leave she follows along the fence line giving me the guilt trip. In fact she resists when I go to put her in the field but there hasn't been drama. I think its boredom. She'd quite happily spend all day with me I think. A very "human" horse. I've also been using a long whip and asserting myself (not actually using it ON anyone) and the other horses have given up on me now. Breaks my heart but gotta be safe. I reckon once they are all together in the winter field it'll sort itself. There is a fattie mare I think she'd get on with but isn't allowed in the same one as hers. Maybe not a bad thing she's pretty connected to me either.

Anyway gonna have me a siesta then see her in a few hours. Thank you for your kind words and advice as well everyone. I'd never have been brave enough to do this without you. x
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post #7 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SwissMiss View Post
P.S. Mineral-based (zinc oxide) sunscreen works for humans and horses. Or if you don't care to walk around with a stark-white nose yourself, diaper rash cream with zinc oxide works wonders
FYI...they now make a clear zinc oxide cream for those not wanting a white nose..

And Walmart has it too...if they have it everyone has it.

It also comes in a spray for ummm...feminine hygiene needs, as a form of "diaper rash" protection but sun protection is sun protection when needed.

I use this one myself...goes on clear and lets my nose be my nose and not "Rudolph's...shiny red."
I've also used it on my scalp along my part line which keeps me from burning to a crisp in no time when I stupidly forget my hat I never forget the sunscreen.

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The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #8 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 01:12 PM
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Yay! Good for you, it sounds like things are unfolding well. A small wound, but that will heal soon enough and most importantly, you are taking charge of Katie! Best to have her looked at sooner rather than later and put your mind at ease. It also sounds like this place has a much more pleasant atmosphere than the old yard. I'd be fuming at them too... how DARE they jump her X-country without asking you! Just wow... I'd be ignoring those texts from the YO. She is NOT trying to look out for Katie, she is trying to make you feel incompetent! Don't even bother to respond, or if you do, let them know how unhappy you are that they put Katie in harm's way without your permission. They're the incompetent ones.

Her hooves will grow out and you can start to take her on little walks and hacks! How fun! So glad you're spending lots of time with her. And you know we're all here to point you in the right direction if you have questions about anything! You can do this, it's really not that hard. Being there and observing just as you're doing is the most important thing.
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post #9 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 05:49 PM
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Loved reading the latest report and canít wait to follow along.
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post #10 of 47 Old 08-10-2020, 09:25 PM
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Glad to read your update. I took it as a good sign that you were not on here, in that you were having oodles of horse time, which it sounds like you have been :)

Man your old YO and A really were something. Glad they are out of your life now. Onwards and upwards.
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