Friday, September 26, 2014

We Go For A Ride!

It's been so long since I posted anything about Lilly... I've been so busy this summer... now that fall is here... blah blah blah. I just feel like skipping all of that and moving right along to the latest happenings.

There has been a lot going on in my life, but the biggest change is that I started a new job about a month ago. Well, I'm still doing the same job, but I'm no longer a contractor, which means I don't have to work weekends and holidays anymore. SUPER awesome for a number of reasons, including shows for next year. This year, it seemed most of my shows fell on the days I was working, so I won't have to worry about that anymore. I was also switched from evening shift to day shift, so I'm a day walker now. That means I can't go to the barn until the evenings, though, which is something I'm still getting used to.

One of the problems with visiting the barn in the evenings, is that when I get there, the horses are all being fed and turned out. They're still on the summer turnout schedule, so they're going outside around 5:30pm. I'm getting there around quarter after, and Lilly really isn't in the mood to be fussed with when her dinner is in her stall and her buddies are all going outside.

My attitude last night, however, was "too bad". We're going for a ride, mare. So I let her eat and then I saddled her up for a nice, easy ride on the trails behind the barn. For various reasons, I haven't ridden her since mid-March, and I've been dying to try her barefoot on the trails to see how she'd do. We've had a lot of rain, so I knew the ground would be nice and soft, and that would make it a little easier for her.

And we're off!

She was surprisingly well behaved. Not one whinny or tantrum when we lost sight of the barn and all her friends. I had prepared myself for a bit of a fight, but it never came. I was very happy with her. Her hooves did really well on the softer part of the trails, and also in the clearing with all the grass, but when she'd step on a tree root, or a pinecone, or some other random obstacle on her path, she was pretty tender footed. After gingerly walking over an area with stones, I decided we weren't quite ready for the big time yet, at least not out on the trails, so I'll need to get her boots out and get them going again.

I only took her about half way and then decided to head back to the barn. On our way back, she started doing her head shaking thing that she does when she's uncomfortable with her saddle. For you long time readers, you'll remember how she used to do this many years ago, but I haven't had an issue with it since buying this current saddle. I'm terribly frustrated right now, but I'm hoping it's more that she was uncomfortable on her feet and perhaps compensating somehow... or that she's just a bit overweight (she is) and the saddle wasn't fitting quite right. I adjusted it a couple times, but she wasn't happy with it. I took her back to the arena and rode her around bareback in there for a bit.

At one point, I was feeling brave stupid and decided to ask her to lope. She stepped right off and we had a nice little ride around the arena. She was super good. It makes me so happy that I can go 7 months without riding her, hop on, and enjoy a relaxing evening with her.

Smooches for my sweet girl.

One last thing... Renegades. For those of you with a pair of these monsters, are they ever the same after you adjust them? Can you actually get them to function once you 'break the seal' on the cables? I had to looosen mine up for the trail ride in March and they've never been the same since. The barn is planning another ride in November, but there's no way we can go without the boots. Any tips or tricks? I just can't seem to get my cables to stay tight anymore.

Hope you've all been well!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hoof Progress

First, a Rylee update. I tried getting ahold of my vet the day after I took Rylee in, but they were too busy for us, and didn't return my call until the following day. By that time, the panic had dissipated and things with Rylee were going well. The general consensus with everyone I spoke with was that the x-rays were showing bone in her tummy and not plastic, which made me feel a lot better. She's doing great now, and I'm hoping we don't have to do this again anytime soon. She does have a new plastic crate pan, but I don't think she's going to eat this one... unless it cracks. So I'll keep an eye on the condition of it, and replace it as necessary.


Ok, moving on to Lilly. She's been doing really good these days. They're on a summer turnout schedule, so she's inside during the hot parts of the day and she seems to be enjoying that quite a bit. I enjoy it as well because I don't have to walk out to the pasture to get her. Lazy? A little bit.

My trimmer was out again today and Lilly's hooves got another positive report. She has stopped growing bar like a mad woman, is growing hoof wall, and has obvious signs of sole thickening. My trimmer feels like we're at a point where we can start pushing things a bit... up until now, it has been kind of an uphill battle, but now we've reached a plateau. She says we're "coasting", which means I can start working Lilly again.

She hasn't told me not to ride, but Lilly was still having some tenderness and I since I stay so busy with Rylee anyway, I've just been letting her rest. She's no longer dragging her back feet, has no soreness in her back, and seems like a happy, healthy girl. My trimmer wants to see how Lilly's feet handle some of the different terrain at the barn without boots, so trail rides are in our future!

It was overcast and rainy today, but I'll take some good hoof pictures when I'm out there next and post them here to show her awesome progress.

I've also been trying to keep an eye on her weight, which seems to be going up ever so slightly. I took this (crappy iPhone) picture of her the other day when I was out. She's looking only slightly preggers.

Getting a little belly...
I'm really trying to avoid doing the whole muzzle thing, so maybe with a few trail rides to get her moving, she'll drop a few pounds.

*Also... Rylee is getting her own blog. I'll still talk about her here some, but I want to focus more on the raw diet stuff, so I figure she needs her own spot. I'm still getting it set up, and have copied her posts over there, but feel free to check it out if you want. Rambunctious Rylee

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bad Dog!

So, this is what happens when hubby and I try to go away for a night to enjoy the Fourth of July festivities in our state's capital.

Oms, noms, noms...
I asked my neighborhood dog trainer lady to watch Rylee for the night so hubby and I could go downtown. She's helped me a lot with Rylee's training, and came over every day to help when Rylee was too little to hold her potty the whole time I was at work. She was also in charge of the obedience class we took a few months ago, so Rylee is quite familiar with her.

She came over Friday night around 11pm to let Rylee out to play and potty a bit, and then feed her dinner. She said she had a little bit of diarrhea, but everything else was fine. When she came back over at 8am Saturday morning, though, she found Rylee had destroyed her crate liner and all the pieces were missing. So, that means she ate them.

She's spent the night alone one other time and was fine (and crates really well), so I don't know if she was just super pissed this time, or what. I actually think that perhaps she was digging at the corner (like she does sometimes) and the liner cracked, which gave her a place to start chewing. When she destroys her toys, she does that... once she finds a weak spot, it doesn't stand a chance.

We'll never know exactly what happened, other than she ate a whole bunch of plastic.

So hubby and I wake up to frantic phone calls from the neighborhood dog trainer lady telling us what happened. So, of course, no long, hot shower at the hotel's expense, and no breakfast at the restaurant downstairs... we threw our stuff in our bags and hurried home.

Rylee seemed fine when we got home. She was SUPER happy to see me, although I gave her the stink eye and could tell she knew I wasn't pleased. I called the dog lady and we chatted a bit more, and I decided to call my vet to see what I should do. They told me a whole lot of nothing, as expected, so I decided I'd just watch her and see how things progressed. She was eating, drinking, peeing, and pooping, and I knew it would take a while for that stuff to start moving. It also didn't help that I didn't know when exactly she ate her liner. Was it midnight, or 7am? Also, did she swallow giant pieces, or did she chew her plastic liner like a lady? No idea.

All was well until about 2pm today. I'd been following her around like a hawk, watching her poop, and I finally saw plastic pieces... and a lot of blood. So I called the emergency vet and they told me I should probably bring her in for x-rays. So I tossed her in the truck and off we went.

Here are the x-rays of her tummy:

Right side belly
I circled in red the little pieces that the vet is concerned about. Those could be plastic pieces that aren't moving along as the others are. She said the plastic may or may not show up on the x-ray, depending on how thick they are, but since Rylee eats raw, those pieces could also simply be bones from her breakfast. She had a chicken thigh, and they look sort of bone-shaped to me, but it could also be a corner piece from the crate or something. There's also a lot of gas in there...

So tomorrow I call my regular vet and have more x-rays done to see if they still see anything in her tummy. Between now and then, no bones to eat so we know for sure if what we're seeing is bone or plastic. The plastic should not still be in her tummy after 48 hours, so if we still see something tomorrow, she'll need surgery to remove those pieces that are left. Hopefully it's just bone and the rest of the plastic is ripping its way through her intestines and colon, and will be out throughout the day tomorrow.

She also got some sub-q fluids for the diarrhea and metronidazole to help soothe her irritated digestive system. Oh, and on the plus side, I got a "free" hip displaysia analysis from the emergency vet... her hips look good! Yay...

Top view
And here I thought she was safe in her crate... I ordered a new crate liner Saturday morning, but I'm worried about putting it back in there. As it is, she can't have towels, blankets, beds, or anything soft because she shreds it, and now I can't even feel safe with just the plastic liner. ARGH!!

Hope, hope, hope the stuff in her tummy is just bone and not plastic. :(

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Another Birthday!

Rylee turns a year old today! She has grown so much!

Happy Birthday!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Birthday Wish

AJ celebrates another birthday today. That makes 28 of them. He has spent the last 24 with me and my family, and we are blessed to have him in our lives.

The early years... 1992, I think.
Enjoying his retirement when he still lived in NC with me.
Happy birthday, my old friend! May we celebrate many more!