Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Barns are Great!

M and I met at the barn on Saturday morning to finish packing and get our horses moved. I decided it would be a good idea to get Lilly out in a familiar area for a bit before turning her out in a new environment cold turkey.  Since AJ is the most calm of the 3 horses, I put him outside and then turned Lilly out in the pasture. I was hoping he wouldn't get her going and would instead stand there and watch her act like a goober.

He did just what I asked.

Lilly, on the other hand, did the opposite of what I told her to do. She LOVES to buck... I could probably have sold her to a rodeo back in the day and she'd be a famous bronc by now. She'll buck so high that she's pretty much vertical in the air. This is one of the more mild bucks I got with my camera, but also the least offensive to Lilly's marehood... lol (I always get her from the back)  If she's trying to impress me by showing off it's not working.

Bad pony!
She ran around in a circle bucking, and bucking, and bucking... then she bucked some more. Then she decided to RUN all the way down to the opposite end of the pasture as if to say, "you'll never catch me!!"

I'm free!!
After goofing off for about 5 minutes, she calmed down and walked over to hang out with AJ. Then I turned Baby out and they all went over to the round bale for a post breakfast snack.

I don't have anywhere small to turn her out. I didn't at the old place and I knew there wasn't anywhere at the new place either.  What happened when I turned her out is inevitable. I know that for a fact because I've done it 3 other times before this, and even a small area really doesn't keep her calm. It actually makes me more nervous because she'll do the same things, just in a smaller area.  So I let her do her thing and hoped she didn't kill herself in the process.

She's a very active horse. She doesn't walk from one place to another, she runs. She doesn't mosey on up for dinner, she runs. She just enjoys running around in the pasture. She always has.

Her ligament is going to take a beating no matter what I do, so while I'm still trying to be very careful with her, I'm also being realistic.

Once we were sure the horses were content, we went to hook up the trailers. The hay had been transferred to my trailer so we could use M's 3 horse to haul all the horses at once. Her trailer is ginormous and weighs about 8 million pounds so there's no cranking that sucker without the electric jack, which requires what? You guessed it! Electricity! Since the BO decided to move the trailers around without our permission for no apparent reason at all, the 3 extension cords we used to plug her trailer up no longer reached. After snooping around all the outbuildings and wasting about a half hour, we finally found one.

After raising the trailer up as high as it would go, it became quite clear that her truck was not going to fit under the nose of the gooseneck. So not only did he move the trailer too far from the electric outlets, but he dropped it in a hole. The only solution we could come up with was to drop her trailer on my truck (which is only a half ton and sits quite lower). Even using my truck we had to do a little scraping and pushing to get the nose on the ball...

If my truck had a voice, it would have been screaming in pain... but it was only for a few short minutes and we went as quickly as we could. We were able to get quite a few objects under the jack which lifted the nose just enough to get her truck underneath.

All 3 horses loaded up like champs and we were off!

A few short minutes later (and after stopping for a biscuit), we finally arrived here:

Home sweet home!
The horses were happy to get off the trailer and into their new pasture. AJ couldn't wait to roll, and Lilly couldn't wait to run around and check things out. Baby just followed not sure about what she wanted to do.

Their pasture is quite nice and has an automatic waterer, which will require me to keep a close eye on AJ since he seems to love pond water so much... Lilly and Baby drank shortly after arriving, but AJ did not. They have a nice 3 sided shelter and will stay together for the first couple of days, then AJ will be split off and put into the gelding pasture with 4 other geldings. I decided to stall board him for the first few days while he's pastured with the girls but then he'll go to pasture board. All but AJ and one other gelding come in at night, so he'll have a friend to keep him company at night and less chance of being run off from his food.

Here are some pictures of the new place:

Individual lockers with keys to lock them up.

Back side of the barn and part of the arena.

Look, they feed hay!

Barn aisle and a sweet pony.

Lilly's stall.
I didn't ride yesterday afternoon, but I went over this morning to check on things and take Lilly for our first ride in over 4 months. Before taking her to the arena, I gave her a much needed makeover. She got a haircut, a shave (face and legs), and a mane and tail conditioning.

Doesn't she look excited?? :)

Ready for our ride!
She was actually a bit of a brat today... her only concern was where Baby was. Baby was also concerned with Lilly, so they screamed to each other over and over again. I'm sure it'll pass in a few days when they're both more comfortable with the environment. Right?

She was good in the arena, though, once we got going. She did VERY well for her first ride in so long... we did lots of stretches and circles and I don't think she forgot a thing! :)

We had sunshine and upper 60's today for weather, so it was a wonderful day spent with my wonderful pony at our wonderful new home.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh Happy Day!!

Shortly after I arrived at the barn today my farrier showed up. He was scheduled for tomorrow but got a bit confused and came out today. He said, "Want me to leave and come back tomorrow?" No way! Being able to find out TWO things in one day... that's a dream come true! I figured if my vet wanted something different done with her hoof he could come back out and fix it tomorrow.

He put my mind at ease regarding the crack and the hole after explaining a bit about how the hoof functions and what happens during an abscess. He said he sees these kinds of things all the time and it's usually not a big deal. (Anytime they say "usually" I get nervous...) I bet most of those horses don't have ligament injuries on the opposite leg, which is where most of my concern comes from.

He used his handy dandy hoof knife to cut off the parts of the hoof that were weak and no longer attached. Most of it was still pretty strong and he thinks the rest of it will grow out just fine, even if it does take forever!

He also thought bar shoes would be a good idea, and stressed the NEED for bell boots while she wears those. She has a habit of stepping all over herself even when she's in the stall, so once she gets to go back outside I'll have to keep a close eye on her. I don't need her stepping on these...

Here are some after shots:

The hole...

The heel...
About 20 minutes after my farrier left the vet arrived. Everyone got set up and we got busy with the ultrasound.

My vet said everything looked fantastic and she didn't see any mottled areas on the ICL and nothing on the DDFT either. So she was diagnosed as being officially healed!!


I asked some questions about exactly how healed she is and what I can expect in the future.  She said there's always a chance for her to reinjure the leg because of the injury and also because of the amount of scar tissue she has in her leg.  So she advised me to be cautious, but said I didn't need to be super careful. 

Ideally she'd like her turned out in a small paddock for a couple weeks but I don't have that luxury. At the new place there's a round pen but I'm not sure how often it's used and I don't want Lilly to be in the way of anyone. Hopefully if she's out with AJ and Baby she'll stay relatively calm, even if she has to burn off a bit of energy first.

AND, the best part is that I get to start riding! She gave me a rough timeline for bringing her back into full work and we're looking at about 4 weeks before I can really start cantering. The first show is March 5th (am I getting ahead of myself?) and I'd like to take her even if we only do showmanship and walk trot classes.

I plan to keep her on the tendon supplement and might put her back on something for her hooves to see if I can get that giant crater to grow out more quickly.

I'm in a happy place today. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AJ and His Tongue

Because he's so cute I can't stand it...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Some Better Pictures

One of the veterinary students at the college boards her horse where I'm currently boarding. She was at the barn yesterday and we were chatting about abscesses and hoof issues and I decided to show her the hole Lilly has in her hoof. She suggested some craziness (a hoof knife and a Dremel) because that's how she fixed a similar issue she had with her horse, but I politely declined and told her I was waiting for my vet and farrier.

I took my real camera to the barn today to get a better picture of her hoof.

I'm glad the vet is coming on Thursday because after I hosed off her hoof, I noticed just how big the crack is... the dirt was hiding most of it. I'm worried that as it grows out, it might end up breaking off because of the weight being put on the crack. I don't need any other issues on the leg opposite of her trouble leg!

Since I had the camera, I took a couple pictures of her ligament too. This time I decided to take a picture of both legs to compare.

Injured leg on the left, and normal leg on the right.
So there's still quite a bit of "something" in there compared to the other leg, but the progress has been quite good considering where we came from. I don't expect it will ever look normal again, and this might be as good as things get.

But how can you not fall in love with this face?!
Two more days until the ultrasound!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hoof Crater

I've been keeping a close eye on Lilly's leg. I noticed a huge difference after the first SWT treatment and a slight improvement after the second. It's been over a week since the third treatment and I haven't seen any change in her leg since then. I'm thinking it's probably healed up as much as it's going to at this point.

I put together this little side by side comparison, and although I don't seem to have a good "after" picture, the difference is quite impressive!

SWT:  After on the left, before on the right.
I'm very excited about the ultrasound on Thursday so I can see how things look on the inside.

In other Lilly news, I've been keeping an eye on her hoof. The most recent abscess has wreaked havoc on her hoof and things seem to be looking worse the more it grows out.
Holy crater, Batman!
It happened back in mid-August so I think she's had pretty good hoof growth since then, but it started off as a small divot type thing, and now it's a hole.  It's not a great picture, but if you enlarge it you can see the hole a little better.  I'll take my real camera to the barn and get some better pictures. 

For now she's in the stall where it's dry and clean, but I'm worried about what could happen when/if she gets the okay to go back outside.  Could bacteria crawl in there and start this whole process all over again, or should she be okay?  Maybe I should be squirting something in there?

Her last abscess came out in the soft tissue area of her hoof but this one came out right at the coronary band and did some damage to her hoof.  I've seen some images online that have me quite worried that this could turn into Lilly's next "issue" as it continues to grow out.

I'll have my vet look at it on Thursday when she does the ultrasound, and luckily my farrier is coming out on Friday, so I'll have both of my horse care people around next week in case we need to do something specific.

I'm still trying to decide what to do about AJ.  Everyone I talk to about it says moving him to Michigan sounds like a great idea, but when I was loving on him this morning I tried to imagine days without my Boo Pony, Boo Bear... he's just so sweet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Retirement Home?

I have wonderful parents. They have been so tolerant of me for so long, and for so many reasons, that I don't think I could ever pay them back. There's no telling what things would be like today without the love and support of my parents! Thank you!

They indulged me when I was only 10 years old and bought me a goofy, sweet, QH gelding named AJ. Two years later, when AJ couldn't be ridden any longer, they leased me a new horse, and then eventually helped me purchase yet another horse, all the while helping me with AJ. They took care of him while I was away in the Marines, when I came back home, and during my move back to the south. I was finally able to have AJ with me in 2004 when I lived in Virginia and he's been with me ever since.

With all the craziness going on in my life, including everything that's been going on with Lilly, my parents offered to take AJ about a year ago, but I decided to keep him here. With the shenanigans going on at my current barn and the trouble I've been having finding him a good place to live, they've again tossed out the idea of sending him back home to Michigan.

I never really entertained the idea of sending him home because then he's not with me and I'd miss him! However, after getting that call from his potential BO about not having room, and stressing over what to do, I've been giving it some thought.

They have an older Appendix gelding that my dad used to ride on the county Sheriff's Posse, but he's no longer doing that. Justus is officially retired and hangs out at the barn by himself. I've been telling them that Justus is lonely and wants a buddy, but they don't want the added expense of another horse just to keep him company. If I sent AJ home, he could keep Justus company but I would continue to pay for all his care, so they wouldn't be any added expenses.

While there were probably quite a few reasons why AJ lost weight this summer (mostly not enough food), I think the heat also had something to do with it. We're always hot and humid here anywhere from about May until October, but last summer was particularly humid and it seemed to last forever! When Lilly was sweating a little bit, AJ was sweaty all over and had salt streaks on his hindquarters. That's good, of course, because at least he's sweating, but he was sweating so much that he had me worried. The summers seem to be getting harder on him, and even with his arthritis, he tends to look and feel better in the winter. Michigan, of course, is much more mild in the summer, but typically much colder in the winter (although not this year, it seems!).

From time to time I've thought about a retirement home for him, but there aren't any nearby, and if I'm going to send him off to a 'retirement home', what better place than with my mom and dad? I would never have to worry about how he was being taken care of and he'd be with people who love him as much as I do.

I think it would be a good situation for all involved, but I sure would miss seeing his sweet face.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Plans Always Change

I had a knot in my stomach this morning when I went to feed the horses.  I knew I'd see the BO and I wasn't sure how he was going to react to my email, assuming he read it of course. 

I was getting ready to clean Lilly's stall when he finally stopped by. 

"Well" he said, "I'm sorry to see you go." 

I sighed and told him I was also disappointed that it didn't work out, but I needed to find something that worked better for me and my horses. 

"Do you mind telling me why?" 

I thought to myself, "how much time ya got, buddy?"  Instead I decided to keep everything civil and professional, and while I didn't lie, I kept the most controversial things to myself.  I figure nothing good can come from venting, (other than making myself feel better) and I'm not one to burn bridges.  So I simply told him that regular board wasn't working out for me for reasons he already knew, and co-op wasn't working either because of the cost and the time I have to commit each day.  He seemed to understand, but was clearly disappointed.

While on the subject of costs I decided to share with him that I think he'd be better off raising his prices closer to the $300 mark but providing more food for the horses.  I told him what other barns were charging and that he could easily get that price here, but he'd have to feed hay year round.  He won't take my advice I'm sure, so he'll continue to lose boarders.  He said he's had 25 boarders come and go from his place since he started just a few years ago.

Perhaps you should take another look at your business?

He said they have a trainer picked out to come into the barn for training and lessons.  He has decided he also wants to do track-out camps for kids while they're tracked-out of school (we have year round here).  He said he feels like people take advantage of him and he plans to toughen up...  the poor guy is just in the wrong business.  I hope he's successful, but I fear he's going to fail miserably.

Because my Dad raised me right, I'm going to honor the 30 day notice and pay for board through the 18th of February, but I'm moving the horses out on the 29th of this month.  He'll owe me close to $200 once everything is settled and claims he'll have it for me before I go.  I'm anxious to move on, and don't plan on looking back.  

I did get a bit of bad news today, though.  AJ's barn called and said the situation there has changed and she won't have room for him until March or April.  I was all set and feeling good about my decision and now this... 

Is it a sign? 

Well, even if it is, it needs to come with a blank check because I can't pay what it would cost me to board two horses at Lilly's barn.  So it looks like I'll have AJ with me for a month or two, and then I'll be moving him over to the other barn. 

I was talking with my mom today about the whole situation and she said she thinks splitting them up is a bad idea.  I won't get to see him every day if he's somewhere else, but I don't think I'll be at the barn every day once the horses are moved and Lilly gets the okay from the vet (please!!) anyway.  I think it might work out better having them apart because if I'm at the barn to see AJ, I'm at the barn to see AJ.  I might end up spending more time with him this way.  I'm not sure...  I'll have to see how it all works out.  Adjustments can always be made.

10 days until the move!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More Frustrations!

I decided to draft an email to the BO about my departure. This accomplishes two things; first, it allows me to be a chicken and hide behind my computer screen while breaking the news, and second, it gets everything in "writing" just in case.

I drafted the email yesterday and thought about what I wanted to say. I'm not one to burn bridges, although there's plenty I'd like to say. Depending on how he takes the news, I may have a chance to share those thoughts with him at a later date. I decided instead to simply state that things weren't working out and I found a place that is more in line with my needs and the needs of my horses.

I spoke with M today, who is a little less tactful than I, and I think her email was much different than mine... the way I look at it, we've got at least 2 more weeks over there and I'm not trying to rock the boat! She can't help herself, though.

This morning when I went to feed I was feeling a little sad... it's such a nice place and I really wanted it to work out. That gorgeous arena that I never got to use (except for lameness exams) will be sorely missed! It's too bad the care isn't up to par.

As I was leaving I looked over at my horse trailer. I like to check on it and make sure all is well and while I was looking I suddenly noticed that it had been moved. Not moved a lot, but it looked like the nose had been slid over. M's trailer is parked next to mine and she had her nose parked at one angle, and I had mine at another. We did that on purpose because her trailer is being used for hay storage and it makes it easy to get the hay. She has a ginormous 27 foot trailer, so there's only a few ways to park that sucker. Now they're so close together, and at the same angle, that it's impossible to get to the hay! You'd have to see how they're parked to really understand my gripe, but the trailers back up to and border giant rocks and now there's no way to get my truck next to her trailer to load it up with hay.

Aside from being furious about the hay part of the situation, I didn't move my trailer which means HE MOVED MY TRAILER. He didn't ask my permission, and I have a Gooslock on my hitch so no one can hook up to it, steal it, or MOVE it. So how did he move the trailer? After a little investigation into the tire tracks around the nose of my trailer, I determined that he used his skid steer...


He must have used it to lift up the nose of the trailer and scoot it over. Perhaps I'm overreacting, but I am LIVID about this. It really gets under my skin when people mess with my stuff... especially things that cost as much as that trailer did. Needless to say, I didn't feel bad about hitting the "send" button when I got home from the barn.

So speaking of moving, I'm fairly certain I'm going to move AJ to the other barn. I'll give it a try and see how it works, and if it gets to be a hassle I can always move him in with Lilly. The BO of the barn Lilly is going to plans to move his 4 horses closer to his house (which is in another area of the property) this fall because they're taking up most of the pasture board spots. I can put a hold on one of those spots and then once the new pasture is built and his horses are moved, I can move AJ.

I still don't know for sure when I'll be moving my horses, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We're Moving!

We're moving, but not to the place I mentioned in a previous post. That place was not good... the barn was ginormous, dark, cold, dirty, and looked like it might go up in flames at any moment. The stalls were ok looking, but the tack room looked like a junk collection. The lady seemed really nice and knowledgeable, but I couldn't see putting my horses there because of the condition of the property. It certainly wasn't worth what she was asking as far as price. The barn was also school bus yellow... not that that matters, but I'm just sayin' ...

I recently shared with you the direction that my current barn is headed, but I was informed yesterday morning that he also intends to get a bunch of chickens and some pigs. ... I don't mind chickens (used to have some myself) but I don't like them being around the horses, and the coop is going to be right next to the barn. And pigs? I'm not sure where he plans on putting pigs, but it's officially time to go. For reals.

So M and I went back to the other place that we both loved. It's the barn that didn't have room for AJ to be on pasture board. It still doesn't... the owner agreed to keep AJ out 24/7 if I paid the stall board price. So if I'm paying the stall board price, I might as well get a stall. Boarding there is going to be way more money than I want to spend, but I need to get them somewhere I'm happy with. I need to get them somewhere I know they'll be taken care of.

Having them on co-op is costing me way more money than I thought... it's actually only a few dollars cheaper than putting them at this new place. The difference will be peace of mind, and about 3 extra hours per day to spend enjoying them instead of taking care of them.

Here are a couple pictures of the barn:

18 stall Morton barn built in 2007.
Private tack lockers, 2 wash racks (w/hot water), lounge, and restrooms!
They have a round pen, a nice ring (although nothing like the one where I'm at now), and lots of trails. Their property even borders power lines, so we could ride forever! The owner is totally OCD about his pastures, so they're rotated like crazy, rested, and over seeded constantly.  Plus they grow their own hay, so they know the nutritional content of the bales. It's absolutely lovely!

Did I mention I don't want to spend what they want for board x2?  I have been considering another option...  boarding AJ at a different barn.  One of the places I looked at before was nice, but it lacked the facilities I'd need for Lilly, like an arena and a wash rack, so I passed on the place.  The lady was super nice, and her horses looked great.  Their property was close to trails and the boarders there go trail riding all the time.  So I could take AJ out for group trail rides on occasion to spend some extra time with him.  I would really prefer to keep them together, but the place is fairly close to my house (and only 12 miles from the other barn) and I'd just have to make it a point to go visit him.

Has anyone ever boarded 2 horses at 2 different places?  It would save me about $175 per month, but I don't want it to turn in to a hassle.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!

We've been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award by Denali's Mom over at Green N' Green = Black N' Blue . A big thank you from me and Lilly!

There are 4 duties to perform to receive this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

I'll start by sharing 7 things about myself...
1. I am a huge football fan, both college and professional. During football season my life revolves around the Steelers' schedule.
2. I was in the Marine Corps for 4 years. It was the most challenging thing I've ever done, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
3. I'm a bit of a geek. I work in IT and spend way too much time on the computer. I'm also one of the 12 million people playing the largest MMORPG ever, World of Warcraft.
4. My favorite food is tomatoes. If I could survive on nothing but tomatoes, I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never get sick of them. Ever.
5. I have a black thumb when it comes to growing vegetables. I can grow flowers no problem, but veggies? Forget it. Fresh tomatoes sure would be nice, though!
6. I love scrapbooking. I'm way behind on my books because I've been so busy with the horses (thanks, Lilly!), but I really enjoy working with crafty items like scissors, paper, glue, and stickers.
7. I am a crime TV nut. I especially enjoy the real life murder stories on ID and truTV even at bedtime. Somehow I have no problem falling asleep to people being murdered.

I love everyone's blog!  I hate being able to choose only 15 blogs...  but rules are rules, so the 15 blogs I chose to award include:
On the Ground
Simply Horse Crazy
Diary of the Overanxious Horse Owner
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
A Year With Horses
A Horse Named Milo
Moondance Ranch
Riding Ms. Daisy (and Son)
Cedar View Paint Horses
Adventures in Colt (Filly) Starting
Jetta and Jill - Our Adventures
Dressage in Jeans
Javas Barn
The Joy of Horses

Now to let everyone know they've won!!  :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And Now We Wait

Lilly got her last dose of shock wave today!! 

It's a good thing too, because she is tired of being in that dang stall.  I took her for a walk this morning while I waited for the vet and she was FIRED UP.  Ever seen a Paint mare do the capriole?  Bad pony!

Anywho...  I asked the vet what she thought about Lilly's leg and wanted her to humor my OCD and explore possible options for her depending on what we find on the 27th when we do the ultrasound.  She said from the looks of it, she'd be surprised if it isn't already at 100%, and if it isn't, she bets it will be in two weeks.  She's absolutely certain there has been improvement but if it isn't quite where it needs to be, one more month of stall rest might be necessary.  She's very optimistic, though, and doesn't think she'll need more treatment or rest.  She wouldn't even entertain my questions about finding no progress.  :)


I'm trying to control my emotions, though, so this roller coaster doesn't jump the tracks, crash, and burn yet again.

In other news, M is fed up with our current boarding situation.  Well, we've been fed up for a while, but with this recent ice storm, she's at her wits' end.  Even though we've taken our horses out of the equation, she really gets worked up when she sees him doing (or not doing) certain things with the other horses there.  With the incoming rate increases, we've decided we're going to be out of there by March 1st. 

I found another promising barn and spoke with the lady today.  She's on her way to Florida so I'm unable to visit the barn until Sunday, but we talked quite a bit on the phone.  I had emailed her earlier this week and never got a response so I decided to call.  I hate calling people, but I was desperate. 

Have you ever called someone about an ad and there is a lot of dead, uncomfortable silence and awkward questions?

Them:  "Hello?"
Me:  "Hello...  is this Pam?"
Them:  "Yes..."
Me:  "Hi, my name is Becca and I was calling about your horse boarding ad on Craigslist..."
Them:  "OK..."

. . . . . . . . . . . Silence . . . . . . . . . . .

Me:  "Um, yeah, I have two horses I'm looking to move and wanted to get a little more information about your farm."
Them:  "Ok..."

. . . . . . . . . . . Silence . . . . . . . . . . .

Me:  "Um, could you tell me about the property and what you offer?"
Them:  "Like what specifically?"

SELL ME ON YOUR FARM, LADY!!  Sheesh, it's no wonder you're looking for boarders.

That's why I prefer email...  luckily, this lady was very nice on the phone and asked a lot of questions about my horses.  We chatted about feed, hay, facilities, horse shows, trainers, and trailers.  She keeps round bales in the pastures at all times, feeds beet pulp twice a day, and will feed whatever grain your horse needs to stay fat and happy.  All the pastures have wood fencing (a must have for M because she lost a mare once because of t-post fencing) and run-in sheds.  They also have an arena with lights, a round pen, and a dressage ring. 

You know the best part?  NO TRAILER PARKING FEE!!  :)    

I'm still considering the other place as well in case this one doesn't work out.  Hopefully it will be this one, though, because it's only 10 minutes from my house, which would be awesome!  M is going to go with me on Sunday to check the place out.  The lady who owns the place shows Morgans and Arabs at most of the circuits I show, so it would be nice to have a few more people to hang out and show with.  She also does carriage driving with some of her horses, so Lilly may freak out about that.  LOL

I'm also thrilled that M and I have become such good friends.  The fact that we're looking for a place we both like so we can stay together is something I haven't had in quite a while.  She's really got the show bug too, so hopefully we'll be attending a lot of shows this year with TWO Paint mares.  :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Change is Coming

It has been a crazy couple of days...  it seems I manage to stay very busy even though riding hasn't been part of my schedule for about 7 months.  We're getting more winter weather as well, which I am not pleased about.

M's horse, Baby, is having some hoof issues, so she's been staying inside.  This makes Lilly very happy, but makes AJ terribly sad.  He has no interest in being pastured with the geldings...  he wants his mares!  So he stands at the fence and cries for them.  No matter what I do, I can't seem to make either of my horses happy these days.

I ran into the BO at the barn this morning when I was feeding and he handed me an envelope.  It contained a memo, new barn rules, and a fee increase (effective March 1st).  Apparently, he and his wife have decided to take the farm off the market and move back in early spring.  The letter also states that they will be looking for a trainer, someone to give lessons, and a coordinator to come up with different events to have out at the barn, like shows and pony camps.  (There isn't a pony to be found anywhere on the property, but that's neither here nor there...)  I have numerous issues with much of the above mentioned info, but I'm not sure all of those things will come to fruition anyway, so I'm going to take a wait and see approach. 

Part of me wonders if he'll be a better horsey caretaker if he moves back home and runs the place more like a business.  Then the other part of me slaps that part and reminds myself about the mentality he has about horses "just being horses", which translates into "no matter what I do or don't do, the horses are going to be fine because they're just horses".  I usually just point a finger at Lilly's stall to prove to him that horses actually ARE fragile and you can't treat them like cattle.

I'm working through several scenarios in my head regarding housing for my horses, but I won't be able to make any decisions until I find out about Lilly's ligament at the end of the month.  Once I know what her future is I'll be able to make a better decision. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Lilly's new SmartPak supplement came in the mail yesterday. I decided to start her on the SmartTendon to see if it makes a difference with her ligament. It's probably not the best time to start it, but my vet didn't think it would help her when the injury initially happened.  I've decided it can't hurt.  I feel a bit at the end of my rope with options, and since she probably did re-injure it in August, she might be in danger of doing it again, or setting back any progress we might have made with the SWT treatment. I know a few ladies who use it and swear by it, so we'll see.

The bump on her leg has gone down again since the last treatment...  it's so exciting I can't stand it!!  I'm trying not to get too excited because I can't see what's on the inside, but from the looks of the outside there's progress being made!  It could just be reducing scar tissue, which I knew it would do, but hopefully it's also helping to fill in the holes.

Look!  We almost have a "normal" looking leg!  (Well, normal for Lilly anyway...)

Also, if you enlarge the picture, you can see the line on her hoof from the abscess. The difference in the appearance of the hoof above and below that line is so incredible! I find it fascinating! I really should get a few good pictures to post...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Not a Bad Start

Lilly's diarrhea was much better today. Dare I say it's gone? No, probably shouldn't do that...

She still looks half asleep, but she's better than she has been and she gobbled up her breakfast this morning. Hopefully by Monday we'll be where we should be!

She was a really good girl on our walk today. The barn has a really long "driveway" that's actually a road, but no one drives on it except for those who live on the lane. It's great for taking walks because it's flat and has good footing. There's grass to snack on along the edges too, which is Lilly's favorite part. She was quite relaxed and even though the other horses called to her she just kept walking. Once we got back to the barn, I put her in the cross ties to clean her stall and she stood quiet as a mouse.

I took AJ and Baby outside and she whinnied about 3 times, pawed a little bit, and then settled in and started eating her hay.

That's how my sweet baby usually acts! :) I still can't open her window, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

I tried to get a good picture of AJ with his blanket off but it was impossible... my iPhone must look very similar to cookies because he insisted on following me around trying to eat it. Outside the pasture was the best I could do!

Looking better!
He still looks a bit ribby but I think his topline and hind end look MUCH better than they did before.  Surprisingly, the BO put a round bale in the pasture, so AJ and Baby have free hay to snack on during the day.  That'll save me some hay!  Only my horses and M's horse use that pasture, and feed of any kind isn't included in our co-op board, so I'm not sure why we get a round bale, but I'm not going to complain...  in fact I made sure to say thanks!

Not a bad way to start 2011!