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I can’t wait to find out! I’m betting pregnant too, especially since she’s never had a colt before.

The Arabian ranch I worked for had some smaller horses. Nothing like that, but I always thought most were in the high 14s, low 15s. They were built solid and extremely successful horses, many owning world titles.

I was thinking about your nutrition statement. Many mustangs in the overgrazed areas are tiny. They are in the high 13 hand range often, and awfully poor looking animals. It shocked me to see the horses who were taken off the mountain young and fed well grow up to be bigger and not so terrible looking.

Now there are herds like Queen’s and apparently Cashman’s that are big horses. I don’t know if it’s because they have had access to better feed or what exactly. I think starvation has a whole lot to do with end sizing though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #444 ·
Interesting the talk about malnutrition. Because (drum roll please...) Aria is NOT pregnant!
It's a good thing I'm not a gambler.

The vet that came today was excellent. She answered so many of my questions. After an ultrasound where we saw no foal, she showed me that both her ovaries had eggs ready to go so she is a horse that would tend to have twins. Wouldn't that have been a mess.

She believes the cause of the belly is her recent malnutrition. I said I'd never had a horse so fat, and she told me that actually she would score her barely a 5 on the BCS. She said the issue is more similar to how Cushing's horses have a pot belly, and muscle wasting. Her organs stole protein from her muscles so she could stay alive and functioning. So she basically had muscles that were depleted completely. Now she has had to put the building blocks for the muscles in place with good nutrition, but those muscles are still weak and so her topline and abdominal muscles can't hold up the weight of her intestines yet.
The solution is to begin exercising and continue feeding, good quality and not too much, but she doesn't necessarily need to diet either.

Other questions: She looked at her back and immediately told me she has Leukotrichia. Apparently it is commonly seen in Arabians, and passed on genetically. Basically they lose pigment in the hair in patterns. It's the same thing that causes horses to get white hair after pressure from a saddle, but it's simply genetic and not from an injury.

I asked about why Aria has trouble picking up the left hind. She said she didn't feel any pelvic abnormalities on the exam, and her hips are level, she does not have joint effusions or swelling, no signs of ringbone, tight tendons. So she did not think it was related to any injury. She said normally it would be from pain in the opposite leg, but it seemed fine to her. So she thought maybe it could also be from not having strong muscles yet, and recommended that I keep working with her and exercising her to see if it gets better.

It was a huge relief to be able to get her teeth done. It was appalling to see what Aria has been living with. I just want to call the breeders she came from and give them a piece of my mind, about how they can keep adding horses into the world but not take care of ones they have. She had the worst teeth I've seen. There were three major problems. The first was that she had a giant hook on the right front molar. It was as long as the one in this picture, and also literally curved around like a hook.

Next, she had a completely missing molar on the top right, and the lower molar that matched up with it was growing upward in a curve into that space. Then she also had the front lower molar on the left side that was crooked and growing slanted forward rather than flat, and it had also grown much taller than the other teeth.

I know some on the forum don't care for power floats. This vet was drenched in sweat and I can't imagine her trying to rasp on those huge problems by hand. We needed to put Aria in a stall in the main barn, and I had forgotten for a moment that she had never been in a stall like that, with a small opening into a dark space. She tried to quickly back away and got scared, but our leading lessons paid off and she came in after me.

She took her first ever shots for vaccines and sedation fine, but after two doses of sedation she was still trying to twist away from the power tool and the vet apologized, but said she might only be able to fix the big issues and not get everything perfect. But then she gave her one more dose of sedation, stuffed some cotton in her ears, and it was enough to calm Aria, and so she was able to get everything done.

Hero did great, no major problems but he did have ulcerations on his cheeks in the back. He definitely needs yearly floats, and of course the vet said Aria will always need yearly floats with her issues. That's fine, just something I always plan on.

After the vet left, DH helped hold Aria's weight off me so I was able to trim the left hind I haven't been able to get trimmed so far. That was a huge relief too. So now she's all caught up on her health care, I don't have to worry about a scary foaling, and we can start real work!

It probably was good that I believed she was pregnant, because it has prevented me from doing any hard exercise with her. Knowing that she has been trying to just get to baseline with muscle recovery after such poor nutrition, I'm sure that the rest was necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #448 ·
Had a very fun day today. It sure is nice to be able to start into training and also I enjoy shopping for horse things, now that there are things I will need for Aria.

Today I measured her for a bit, something I can do now that her teeth are floated! She'll wear a 4.5 inch bit. I actually have a couple of pony bridles that Amore fit into and I can adjust down for Aria.

Next, I measured her for a blanket, which will be a 66 inch. It's interesting, because she and Amore are close in measurement (Amore was 68) because Amore had a short head and short back, and Aria has a long head and long back for her size.

Speaking of size, I was looking at photos of 12 hand ponies online, and thought they seemed smaller than Aria next to people. So I had DH help me with an "official" measurement today, and checked it twice. I had measured her before based on where her withers hit my arm, but wasn't apparently on flat ground, because when we measured her today she came to exactly 13 hands. 13 hands seems like a good size to me. If I ever do want to train her for a small person to ride, I can probably get on her and do short sessions.

The other good news is that I trimmed her front hooves so I could measure her for hoof boots. It turns out she'll be a Renegade size 0. I love the Renegades and was worried she wouldn't fit into them. Once I order those, she can do more ponying down the road with Hero.

Her hooves are as hard as rocks right now; it's been very dry and she has hooves that are going to be superb after a period of regular trimming. I gave up on the file quickly, and poor pony was startled a few times when the nippers made such a loud snap cutting through her thick walls. She did very well though.

We also did a lunging session, and this was only her second time on a line. Amazingly, I was able to get her to go in actual circles already, and she managed walk, trot and canter. Of course she has no idea what the words mean so we'll have to begin associating those. She went a little fast, but wasn't panicking or anything. I haven't had much opportunity to watch her trotting out yet, and she has a very spanking little trot with lots of hock action. It would look great in harness.
As soon as I unclipped her, she came right over for treats and scratches. Good little girl.

Then she stood by the fence and watched Hero lunge, and I hoped she wasn't taking notes. I think I've been underestimating how well he is feeling nowadays. He wanted to gallop and gallop, and it was hard to get him out of a gallop even when I made the circle very small. Oops, forgot to wear gloves. Of course he did his trademark bucking and rearing a few times at the start, feeling great. I told Aria to close her eyes and not watch that part. She was so funny, just stood there watching him go around and around. Probably wondering what the point was?

It sure made me feel great to watch her eating hay and seeing it go down the "conveyor belt" of teeth the way it is supposed to. No wads, no hesitation, and her jaw is finally going back and forth. She had a kind of strange motion before with the jaw going one way and then back, and sometimes a rotational type of thing. Hung up on that big hook, I imagine. I know it's probably my imagination, but I swear her belly looks a touch smaller already. Maybe there was a lot of unchewed hay in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #449 ·
I enjoyed doing more training with Aria today.
There are always many things to work on. A lot of my training is just doing a normal routine. Tying for grooming, brushing, picking hooves, leading, putting on fly spray. Little by little everything becomes commonplace.

Also I practiced pretend bridling with a piece of rope in her mouth, and rubbed her all over with a saddle pad to start tack training.

We did more lunging practice, and then I free lunged the horses for exercise. I wanted to keep the lunging on the line very calm and work on recognizing voice commands, but also I want Aria to begin building muscle and fitness.

She was interesting to watch free lunging, watching Hero and seeing he wasn't really concerned, and that the running around to my silly noises and the lunge whip was just for fun. She seemed to get that quite well, and approached to accept treats right after, appearing unconcerned.

I wouldn't really do much differently if Aria had a difficult temperament or past, but it's nice that she seems to be the first horse of my own (not training for others), that is not really a problem horse. Things go easier.

It was nerve wracking at first, with the worry of being unable to easily catch or really handle a horse. I can see why people don't want an unhandled ten year old horse. You feel the clock ticking because the horse could suddenly require vet care at any moment, and you can see the hooves growing and putting stress on the joints while you hope to avoid tendon injuries.

It is an amazing relief to have all the necessary vet care done, and the hooves trimmed nicely. The three easy legs are no problem now, and the "bad" leg that is tricky for her to pick up is getting easier to hold every day.

I've noticed there are the horses that consider having their private areas handled an outrage, and the horses that believe a full spa treatment should include the undercarriage.

The vet said, "I suppose you'd like his sheath cleaned," about Hero. I said, "Oh, no, he doesn't need sedation, he enjoys it." It was something I did not look forward to with my first gelding, having worked on other horses. But Hero not only cooperates with being cleaned, he actually stays squeaky clean somehow on his own.

Halla had extreme difficulty resisting the urge to kill anyone who touched her udder. Aria is amazed and pleased that I can reach under there and rub the dirt off. She thinks humans are pretty great, now that she knows them.
 

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I think it’s an interesting thing that some horses tolerate their privates touched and others do not. Cash could use his sheath cleaned and his bean too, but he would kill me for the effort. He’s definitely on the “nope” side of that idea. Most of mine fall that direction, but Queen is far from insulted if I clean her bag. She finds it lovely to get the itches scratched and the gunk off.

Beamer I worry has developed a cancer inside of his sheath. You can feel the raw tumor inside when you clean him out, which he tolerates out of necessity as his willy gets swollen up and stuck inside at times. The vet said primarily that there was nothing they would do, so he may as well continue along in his normalcy.

I did learn something though after a scolding! When I explained the tumor inside his sheath, I was asked if I used gloves. No, I did not. Apparently that cancer shows to directly transfer into skin cancer on people. Do not mess with a cancer on a horse without gloves! Just a heads up. Lol
 

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Hmmm...the second photo displays "Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18" and then gives me the option to "Show Content". Being a retired military guy who has seen sights he'd rather forget, I risked hitting "Show Content". The content does NOT look very sensitive to me.

Did a search and found articles like this:

"Social media is supposed to be your personal curation of the world around you — but when an intense post shows up on your Explore page, it can be disquieting. “I honestly cannot take it when medical things appear anywhere on my feeds,” Anna, 22, tells Bustle. “Even those pimple popper videos just gross me out and I have to hide my head under a pillow. My girlfriend tried to show me a feel-good post about a cat having surgery and I legit almost fainted.”...

....So what counts as “sensitive content” on Instagram? Sensitive Content Control is actually based on something Instagram already has in place: non-recommended content. These are posts that Instagram technically allows, but doesn’t “recommend” (which means its algorithms don’t put them on feeds to show to new audiences). So posts showing people fighting, poses in see-through clothing, promotions for things like vapes or weight loss supplements, or even vaccine-related misinformation might end up caught in your sensitive content filter.
"

This New Instagram Feature Will Help Keep Violence Off Your Explore Feed

In case anyone is worried, @gottatrot isn't pushing a photo of a pimple being popped or a promotion for weight loss supplements (??????) and it certainly doesn't involve anything most people would be shocked to see in public. I mean, it does have a horse, but it isn't something one might have seen in the 1980s in a bar in SE Asia.... :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #459 ·
No one will sympathize if I whine. But I must have sweated a liter off today. Ran a 5k on the treadmill and it was about 75 degrees in the garage, then did all the horse chores and went for a ride, and it was about 73 degrees out. I know that isn't hot for all of you, but in my defense it's high humidity here. 😁

I rode about a half hour. It still cracks me up that Hero would never pony Amore even three steps, but he doesn't mind ponying Aria.

What's more, he's so much braver with his sidekick along. Like that little pony is going to jump in and save him? Or maybe it's the mindset Amore always had: they'll be sure to eat the smallest horse first.

I've been trying to avoid gravel since Aria's boots aren't here yet. She doesn't seem affected by gravel the way Hero is, having hard little Arab hooves. Still, the gravel is brutal I know.

So after a short leg on the gravel, we went around the outdoor arena area for a couple laps on the grass. Aria followed along really well, only stopping a couple of times and coming along again with pressure on the lead.
I thought both horses did exceptionally well.
 
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