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Discussion Starter · #381 ·
The riding instructor brought a pig??? Was she thinking to desensitize the horses maybe? I mean, otherwise geez that doesn't say much about her horsemanship.
No, it's just a pet and she brought it out to the farm to show it to everyone. Given that the barn owner told me three times to never bring my dog out there because her dogs will try to kill mine, I'm not sure how the pig-on-a-leash fared. LOL And the horses didn't like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #382 ·
Just a suggestion since Stryder is colic prone at weather changes. His grain is not making him hot - that is an old wives tale and any reputable vet will tell you that. Will a grain give more energy - yes! but that is what a good healthy diet will do for all mammals. If you do not want to give him more grain then see if switching to a soaked pellet - at 20 he is an older horse and can and will lose weight quickly. He needs fat and protein to keep his muscles working well and older animals do not metabolize feeds as well as they did when they were younger. A nice soaked Timothy pellet is great for older horses and has less calories than soaked alfalfa. Beet pulp is also great.

I say this as someone who went to school for animal science and my focus was feeds and feeding - and my daughter is in vet school and her focus is large animal care.
I tend to agree with you. Thanks for your advice! I will always welcome educational info! I mentioned beet pulp to the owner a few weeks ago, I've seen it do wonders. But it requires hot water to prepare and prep time to soak and we don't have access to anything except a hose at the barn. The grain he's on is a senior feed and has a lot of protein, but so does the hay he's been getting--high alfalfa, very rich. So he's actually getting porky again. LOL The soaked pellets are an idea, but again, we have no place to prepare anything--but that could probably be done with cold water. I think she is putting him on something similar--she's switching him to a ration spreader. She decided to take him off grain altogether while he's at the barn. I think that's a bit of overkill since he JUST started finally putting weight on, but we'll see I guess. I like him having a little more energy, sometimes he is just a wet dishrag and that's no fun.
I don't know if the other leaser has the time to do soaked feed. She has not ridden him yet--when she goes out it's only for a few minutes to throw him some grain and treats and that's it. One day she groomed him.
I'm honestly just trying to keep my head down a bit and go with the flow, since he's not my horse. I know I'm the one riding him and benefitting or catching the brunt of issues his care brings up, but it's ultimately not my decision. At least this owner is attentive and does listen to me when I tell her something is up with him.
Thanks again and I'll keep the soaked pellets in mind and try to sneak in a mention to the owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #383 ·
So I'm thinking of getting a different English saddle. I had intended to get a dressage saddle last time, and accidently ended up with AP saddle--because I'm an idiot. LOL But i am just not comfortable with it on Strider. I was ok with it on Missy, but just barely. I would be happier with a saddle where I sit deeper--have a higher cantle and more knee roll. And that's a dressage saddle.
For some reason I am determined to do English riding. I really do like it--especially for arena work.
I had considered getting an Australian saddle, as I've wanted one my whole life, but I did some research and it sounds like they are too different from other saddles to make fit easy. Since it's not my horse and I would be buying used, there's no return. And it seems you sit and distribute your weight a bit differently too, so there might be a learning curve for the horse. Not things I want to deal with. If I'm wrong about this, I'm willing to listen. LOL
So, I think I am looking for a dressage saddle, but I need to go find some to sit in to make sure. If any of the consignment or tack shops that sell used have one in my size, that is affordable, great. But it seems that anything sold in a store is 50% more expensive than buying direct from the owner.
I already have stirrups that I love, so all I need is the saddle. Not sure how soon I can make this happen, but I'd like to have time to use it at the new barn for awhile. And then sell my other one.
 
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Discussion Starter · #384 ·
So today was a normal day--hallelujah! I needed it. Strider was totally himself--the himself who is less lazy at this barn. He had just enough pep to give me a good ride, but nothing stupid. He was attentive and calm. Since the day started out with a lot of anxiety, I am very glad. When we arrive, the dreaded yellow bobcat tractor was out putting hay in pastures. Ugh. On my way back from the pasture with Strider in hand, the tractor had come around in front of the barn--Strider stopped and refused to move on the lane we were one. Just dead stop and head bobbing and getting a little wild looking. Just a tiny bit. But then the tractor went off and he calmed right down again. I brought him over to it, while it was off and he sniffed and sniffed at it. I can't figure ot why he hates it, but apparently he's not alone--a couple other horses were out and they hated it too.
We were in the arena with another horse and rider today, for a while anyway. She's a woman I've been getting friendly with as she's there most of the time I'm there--cleaning stalls. She's very nice. She was pretty involved with her horse though, so I hope I didn't bug her too much by prattling on. LOL Her leased mare has been pretty high strung lately apparently.

Anyway, we had a good ride, he got a little more sweaty than I'd like for the amount of riding I did, but it dried up in about 20 minutes or so--with some towel rubbing. My biggest issue today was slipperiness. They've had some snow out there and it's all getting trampled and driven smooth by the tractors and other vehicles it's pretty icy in a lot of areas--some large areas. And RIGHT in front of the arena door is a big patch of ice that you have to walk on to get in. Strider slipped on that today. And my husband almost wiped out on the path to Strdier's pasture. I realize it's hard to deal with at the hovering just above or below freezing temps we've had, but I would think with all those horses walking around there, not to mention people, it would be higher priority. And it's going down to single digits and below zero in a couple days, so this could be a bad scene. Oh, and the arena door barely opens halfway because of all the snow and ice jammed into the track. It's been getting worse over the course of a week or more. I guess when you are at a bargain barn you can't have everything. But if it's going to be so icy all winter, that will be a real problem. I am liable if anything happens to Strider while he's under my direct control. If he slips and breaks a leg while I'm leading him, I'm responsible for the vet bills--up to $3,000 (the cost the owner put on him if she were to sell him). Not to mention this is her beloved first horse and I don't want anything to happen to him. And my husband and I don't need any more medical problems thank you.

So, fingers crossed it all works out. I know, I'm a worryer. But I'm also hopeful and tolerant. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #385 ·
Holy pain Batman!! Todays trip the barn ended in almost immobilizing and blinding pain. I have needed to go to the chiropractor since before Christmas--but she was closed all last week. All th stress I've been under from my pets' and my husband's medical problem have inflamed my condition to the level of a roaring dragon. I've been managing so far, but today, the hip pain that had been mild and intermittent since about last Wed., just flared up flaming licks of pain. By the time I got to the barn it was pretty sore, but I was ok. Then, after walking out to get Strider and getting into the arena to lunge him, I found I couldn't bend over without excruciating pain. Ugh, what? And walking in the arena was difficult due to the thick sand. I do ok on flat, smooth surfaces--so in the barn I could walk a lot better. I wasn't sure about riding, but I did it anyway. Getting on was fine, riding was fine and even getting off only hurt a little. Until I got on the ground. Then I was limping very heavily and just in a world of hurt. I fed and took care of Strider, walked ALL the way out to the pasture to put him away and as I was putting the electric tapes up (that serve as a gate) my husband, bless his heart had driving the car offroad through the farm to pick me up. (the tractors and trucks go up here so it was "legal" to drive there. But it's snowpacked and we don't have four wheel drive. LOL
Well, this was great I thought--also because my ears were about to crack off my head from being frozen. But when I tried to get in the car, I couldn't bend my leg or fold myself into the car--I got it done with a lot of screaming and then couldn't relax into sitting position. It felt like my hip was dislocated or something. By the time we got home it was a little better--I was able to get out of the car with only some pain and I could do steps, with just a manageable amount of pain. Until I sat down to have a meal--screamed again and couldn't lean over to eat--so I have to lean back and bring the food to me. Ugh.

It's definitely better with rest and there are just some movements I cannot do. I have an appt with the chrio tomorrow at 3:20, earliest they could get me in. Geez, what next? I think, "hope" this is due to my pelvis being way off--twisted, torqued, whatever and that the chiro can fix it. Otherwise, what, the ER? Orthopedic clinics are booked out for months--I know this because I have been scheduling appts for my husband.

Ok, complaining over. I'm going to go take some anti-inflammatoryies and hope that helps. and then use heat I guess. I have no idea where to ice--it's deep in the joint if feels like. Nothing I can press on or feel externally. My husband asked if I wanted to borrow his cane! What a pair!
 

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Discussion Starter · #387 ·
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Discussion Starter · #389 ·
Oh my, I'm so sorry to hear this! :( I hope you feel better soon.
Thanks, I'm praying the chiropractor can fix me this afternoon. Or at least start to fix me. If it's just my disease process then I'm really up a creek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #390 ·
So, thank you Covid. I got a call from the Chrio canceling my appt. She was exposed to a patient who tested positive for Covid and then started not feeling well. So she is being tested and if it's negative, I can see her tomorrow. Otherwise maybe two weeks! I am actively looking for another chiro that uses the activator tool. I have a very particular body with my diseases and quirks and she knows them all--been seeing her for years. This really stinks. The hip is doing a little better, as long as I do nothing but rest. That can't go on forever. The rest of my body will start to tall apart if I don't move around enough. Ugh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #391 ·
So, the medical saga which seems like it went on forever, even though it was only a week, is finally nearing it's end. At least this chapter. LOL I have seen one new chiropractor, last Wednesday, and then my regular one yesterday. She said I could ride if I tolerated it. So, I went out today. And boy can I pick em'! It was single digit or below zero windchills--the wind at the farm was FIERCE and we rode in a haunted arena. I woke up not feeling good overall and the hip is still bugging me, but at least not keeping from doing stuff anymore. And I was determined to go see Stridery today.
So I got all bundled up and while the day was not my friend, Strider was great today! He was so cute and charming.
The first thing I did was take him to the indoor arena like usual. My husband and I were literally the only humans on the place and I think Strider felt special that he got to be out doing stuff while the other horses were all lonely. LOL
Anyway, I got him in there, took off his coat and let him free! He immediately rolled and rolled and got a good scratch in. I don't think he's had that coat off or been groomed in over a week. My co-leaser is mostly just stopping out to feed him and give him treats and a pat--all in his pasture, after dark. She did finally ride him once, about two weeks ago, but not since. So, he was very ready for some attention! I got the whip out and just made him move--but let him do his own thing for a few minutes. Then I verbally and with hand cues just "wrangled" him into a free lunge--mostly a circle and he did it! Even with all that space he stayed joined to me. It was very nice. We did that for a few minutes, trot and canter and then I stopped, turned my back to him and he did a perfect join up.
We went to the barn and he was SO happy to be groomed with the curry gloves. I've hardly ever seen him so relaxed and obviously enjoying the attention. I got him saddled and went back to the arena and I tentatively climbed on. The wind had picked up a LOT or changed direction or something since we had been in there 15 minutes earlier and the arena was like a haunted house. Between that and my bad hip, it took me a minute to get on.
But, Strider was such a good boy for me. He was nervous, but he never did a full spook and only one little startle. And this, despite the fact that the arena was doing, in turns: screaming, banging, whistling, whooshing, tapping, howling, moaning and finally some high pitched cry that sounded almost like a woman yelling. THAT one got Strider's attention and he stopped stock still. It was pretty creepy. I decided not to canter given all the noise and his nervousness. And my hop. I was afraid if we were cantering and he did a bad startle it might wrench my hip badly. It was already hurting to ride, so after 15 minutes I got off. It was a shame since he was feeling physically and mentally so good otherwise. We would have had a really good ride. He was at that sweet spot of having energy and willingness, but not being a fireball/too much energy.
Hopefully we'll make it out on Friday and he will still be feeling good. One can hope anyway. LOL I was happy. I didn't want to overdo the hip and after riding, it actually felt better, like I stretched it just the right amount.
I am trying to really enjoy my horse time, since my husband will probably be having neck fusion surgery sometime this year ( we are hoping it can wait for the end of the year). I've been agonizing over when is the best time to stop riding for 2-3 months or more while he can't drive. Next Winter would be the best for us--he hates the cold and I wouldn't have to worry about a place to ride on his owner's property--or paying for board again. But who knows what will happen. I'm trying to prepare for this mentally and physically. I'll have to do all the heavy lilfting for several months while he's recuperating. I'll have to take care of him, listen to him rant and rave as he is cooped up, and figure out how to get him to doctor's appt and run errands. I am putting aside some cash now from a recent bit of money we received, for cab and uber rides and grocery delivery fees, etc. Ugh. Not fun stuff to contemplate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #392 ·
I needed a good riding day today and I didn't get it. I went out there, did the usual routine. Strider was really pretty good for free lunging again. He was a little sluggish, but I expected that after another huge temp swing from yesterday to today. He did his usual cough a couple times when he started trotting. I got him tacked up and got on and after a couple turns around the arena at a walk, I asked for trot. He stumbled a bit, refused, I persisted and he trotted. And coughed. And coughed again, and again, and then sort of swayed to one side a bit. I hopped off, afraid he might go down. I had him move around a little, just walk a small circle around me. He was fine. So I got back on, asked for tort, and he was able to trot two laps around the arena and then stated coughing and coughing again. He did that weird swaying thing again and I hopped off again. I got the whip out this time and lunged him again. He was coughing intermittently at the trot. I asked for canter and it was ALL coughing. I immediately stopped him and had him walk. He was fine at a walk. I thought, ok, I'll just get on and we'll walk for a few minutes so I get my hip some more riding time and stretching. So I got back on for the third time and at a walk, he still felt off under me. Hard to explain, but I got off and said that's enough. Then he coughed a few times just standing in the barn.
I told his owner immediately when I left the barn. The other leaser then said she also had noticed him coughing just a few times the day before, but nothing like what I was describing. But he had/has no snotty nose, clear eyes, no wheezing or rails. So the owner said she wasn't worried about it for now and we should just keep an eye on him. The other leaser is going out tomorrow and she'll take his temperature.
I hope he's ok. But I did my part in reporting it--and checking him for wheezing and other symptoms. The owner has had him for 18 years, so she must know him and what indicates true "sick" or not. I'm wondering if he got something irritating in his throat--the cough was kind of a gagging hack. Anyway, I'm going to try to not worry about it anymore, I did my part.
I have enough to worry about since we saw the spinal surgeon yesterday and he said my husband's condition is serious and we had to schedule neck surgery. He said we could wait until the end of March, but no longer. Good news is he's going to be able to do the anterior approach (going in through thte front instead of the back) which has a better and shorter recovery time. He won't be able to drive for 6 weeks, and hopefully that will be all. I may be able to get some rides to the barn for the last month of Strider's board there (April), if not, the other leaser said she'll just cover April by herself. She's very nice. She offered that she may be able to come pick me up for a couple rides--and she lives about 40 minutes away from me! And I may have a couple other opportunities as well. But even if it's the full 6 weeks with no riding, I'm ok with it. I just want my husband to be ok! And I'll only miss a little wet, muddy Spring riding. I'll be back able to do trail riding by the end of May. And Spring is the best walking weather for me, if I need to walk to places to get supplies.
But all the stress I've been under lately has finally caused me to break out with thrush! Yea, or I've been hanging around with horses too much. LOL It's on my tongue. So gross. But hopefully I can kick it quickly with my natural treatments.

Now I have the weekend off from doctor's appts and horses and I can hopefully relax a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #393 ·
Well, no riding again today. So frustrating. I was having the worst day besides everything else. I really wanted a good ride. Instead I get Strider being a fireball of energy--and acting naughty and stil coughing. It got worse and worse as I free lunged him--he was racing around the arena at a full gallop for a while, I couldn't get him to slow--he was so full of energy--and coughing the whole time, a few times here and there, then a break for a minute or so, then more coughing. But then he seemed to have a lull and I thought maybe it was over. He was calmed enough to finally be done, so I took him in and got him tacked up--trying to be hopeful. No coughing in the barn.
We got to the arena and I walked him around a minute or two and he started coughing again---really bad. His breath in after coughing was a loud labored gurgling, but it only lasted for a few seconds. He seemed totally fine in every other way. He was not in distress or gasping for air--other than those few seconds after a cough. No heaving of the sides or nostrils. I didn't even get on and took him back into the barn. He coughed several more times while I was getting him undone and getting his feed, etc. Same thing, that gurgling on the back end.
The owner is calling the vet out, might not be able to get there until Friday. Strider's temp and heartrate are normal and unless he's exercising, you'd never know anything is wrong with him. But he's been coughing since at least Thursday, so it's time to get him checked for sure.
I broke down crying in the barn while waiting for him to eat. THere's just been too much lately. My husband's neck issues continue to be a source of stress. This morning he found a video from a California chiropractor who says you should (almost) never have surgery for cervical stenosis and that's it's treatable, even in advanced stages, with chiropractic care. He brought up some interesting points, but he's also an alarmist in the other direction. So we've now got the AMA world saying do the surgery and very soon or there's a good chance you'll be paralyzed soon and now the alternative world is saying don't do any surgery or you'll be crippled and in pain the rest of your life. Ahhh!! My husband doesn't want the surgery now, but he's not saying "no" just yet. But we do need to go on a whole trip (deep dive) down the research road now, talking to different doctors and alternative practitioners and reading, etc. It's exhausting and terrifying. Oh, and the supposedly altruistic chiropractor from youtube? He only charges $500 for a 30 minute phone consult!! And insurance doesn't cover it. Yea, what a humanitarian.
 

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I'm so sorry things are not going well right now, but try to keep your head up. It's good that Strider is going to get checked out, before his coughing gets worse. Poor boy! Wonder what's going on.
All the stress definitely can hit you at once. Regarding your husband, it's definitely important to get more than one opinion, so that's a good route to take. It'll all workout the way it's supposed to. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #395 ·
So the vet came out today to see Strider. He has a definite throat irritation. She was able to get him coughing with just slight pressure, no need for an exercise test--he coughed for 5 minutes after she did that. He's not sick at all,, but she did take blood for a CBC and Chem panel just to be sure. And his owner requested a Cushings test too. The vet put him on an antihistamine for two weeks and we can't exercise him for at least a week or two--only hand walking. We have to bring hot water (there's none on the farm) to moisten his feed and avoid carrots or other scratchy treats.
She wants him to get the pills twice a day for at least a week, but we don't think that will happen. None of us lives close enough to go out twice per day. She said once per day might be enough if that's all we can manage. Between the owner and the other leaser, he will get them twice today and over the weekend at least. So that's 3 days.
So today all I did was walk him around the property for 30 minutes so he would get some exercise at least. The vet said we could walk him inside the arena, but I hate walking in the arena sand, around and around and with it being so cold--it's pretty dusty in there, which we're trying to avoid. I can handle the cold, so we'll be walking outside for the next couple weeks. And he did cough when we were walking into the bitter cold wind, so we didn't walk that direction anymore.
So, since my hip was bad for over a week, and now he's been coughing for over a week, I already haven't ridden for 2 weeks. Ugh. So a month off. And riding is what seems to help my hip, so shoot! I'm gonna be so outta shape the next time I ride. And he's going to be SO full of energy. He's already dancing and prancing on the lead rope.
Bummer, but that's life with horses I guess. At least it's noting serious. But another sick animal is just not what I needed in my life right now.
 
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