Thursday, July 31, 2008

An interesting observation...

Over the past few weeks, an observation has come to me slowly, sort of like something materializing out of the fog of distraction...

One fact that is known, is that Joy has problems. Internal, external, systemic. Some have been identified, some are assumed, some, well, some you just know are there but you don't have a word for it.

At my barn, I have 5 12X12 stalls that are open on one side to a drylot run. Other than support post, the side is totally open. See here.

In other pictures, you can see the stall fronts

Ok, now to get to the point...I hung fly strips on every stall front. When I walked down the barn to feed, EVERY strip was LOADED with flies, EXCEPT in front of Joy's stall, which is 2nd from the end!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Well, THAT is new behavior....

Kaci is a 20 yr old TB gelding who, up until last August, was a hunter/jumper at a show barn. His owners didn't have a use for him, so gave him away on, which could have ended very badly for him.

Anyway, Kaci is totally in LOVE with Jazzy, an 8 yr old QH mare. I mean MOTHERED UP!!!

Yesterday, I turned everyone out on pasture, except for Jazzy, who is so fat she's in danger of founder and exploding. Over at my neighbors, they have a dry lot that is adjacent to one of the grass pastures. I put Jazzy in the dry lot, and turned Kaci out on pasture. For the rest of the day, Kaci was pinning his ears, lowering his head into attack mode, charging the fence, just basically acting as though he hated the mare and would do her some damage if they were turned out together.

What's up with THAT!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Home, Home on the Range...

Ok, so it's not the range, it's my neighbor's pasture, but it's 5 acres, instead of one.

The land is separated into 3 separate pastures, with automatic waterers and trees. I turned Kaci and Jazzy into the smallest one. The two love birds trotted around, checking out their new digs, then settled in to much some grass.

In the largest, I turned out Shyanna, Doodle (formerly Redman) and Angel. They trotted and postured and squealed over the fence at Kaci, then settled down.

In the third, I turned out Joy. She was NOT happy about the separation...AT ALL! So after everyone else was all settled in, I let her in with Angel, Shyanna, and Doodle. She loped around, squealed over the fence at Kaci, then went to each of the other horses in turn, squealed and kicked at them. They all moved off, giving her some space, deferring to the "Granny Mare" as the boss.

They are all happily mowing through grass in the sunshine, tails swishing, and generally well pleased with life.

With all the trotting and loping that Joy did, she'll probably be really sore tonight. No worries...I can make her comfortable.

The only thing missing is Heddy and Honey...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On the lighter side...ENJOY!

Obsessive Compulsive Equine Attachment Neurosis (O.C.E.A.N) Syndrome

The afflicted individual:

1. Can smell moldy hay at ten paces, but can't tell whether milk has gone bad until it turns chunky.

2. Finds the occasional "Buck and Toot" session hugely entertaining, but severely chastises her husband for similar antics.

3. Will spend hours cleaning and conditioning her tack, but wants to eat on paper plates so there are no dishes.

4. Considers equine gaseous excretions a fragrance.

5. Enjoys mucking out four stalls twice a day, but insists on having a housekeeper mop the kitchen floor once a week.

6. Will spend an hour combing and trimming an equine mane, but wears a baseball cap so she doesn't waste time brushing her own hair.

7. Will dig through manure piles daily looking for worms, but does not bait her own hook IF she accompanies her spouse on a fishing trip.

8. Will not hesitate to administer a rectal exam up to her shoulder, but finds cleaning out the Thanksgiving turkey cavity for dressing quite repulsive.

9. By memory can mix eight different supplements in the correct proportions, but can't make macaroni and cheese that isn't soupy.

10. Twice a week will spend an hour scrubbing algae from the water tanks, but has a problem cleaning lasagna out of the casserole dish.

11. Will pick a horse's nose, and call it cleaning, but becomes verbally violent when her husband picks his.

12. Can sit through a four-hour session of a ground work clinic, but unable to make it through a half-hour episode of Cops.

The spouse of an afflicted victim:

1. Must come to terms with the fact there is no cure, and only slightly effective treatments. The syndrome may be genetic or caused by the inhaling of manure particles which may have an adverse effect on female hormones.

2. Must adjust the family budget to include equine items - hay, veterinarian services, farrier services, riding boots and clothes, supplements, tack, equine masseuse and acupuncturist - as well as the mandatory equine spiritual guide, etc. Once you have identified a monthly figure, never look at it again. Doing so will cause tightness in your chest, nausea and occasional diarrhea.

3. Must realize that your spouse has no control over this affliction. More often than not, she will deny a problem even exists as denial is common.

4. Must form a support group. You need to know you're not alone - and there's no shame in admitting your wife has a problem.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Life continues...

Joy is doing ok. She is comfortable and still happily eating out on the pasture round the clock, unless I need to turn out my other mare for a couple hours. She still gimps around, but at least she's not in chronic pain.

My new project, Shyanna, continues to steadily gain weight. She had her feet trimmed last Friday and is more comfortable. Her feet were so long that she'll need another trimming in three weeks before she can be ridden.

She has gained weight, though she still needs some muscle and fat along her top line. I should have taken photos when she first arrived. Her spine was evidence all the way back to her tailhead, the points of her hips stuck out, you could count every rib. She's a relatively young mare, only 9 or 10 yrs old. She's also VERY well bred.

The moron who was boarding her has what FHOTD would describe a Barn Blindness. He repeatedly told the horse's owner that she was healthy and in fine condition. The horse's owner, being only 17 and trying to support the mare on her own, just accepted his statement. I chastised her that it was HER responsibility to find an alternative place for her, that she could have called on me at any time. At least the Shyanna's owner is being responsible now, having bought a ton of hay and reimburses me for the extra feed that the mare needs to gain weight.

I'll try to get photos of both mare soon. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Long Goodbye Begins...

I've been wondering what to write, and how to write it, since Friday morning but I guess there's no easy way.

Joy will be put down at the end of August.

She has put on weight. If that was the only thing wrong with this sweet girl, my job would be done and it would have been easy. But she has so many things going wrong all at once.

She has allergies - to just about EVERYTHING. Orchard grass, apples, every weed known to man (so it seems) name's on the list.

She is has a suppressed immune system. She just can't fight fungus, bacteria, or other infections. She won't be able to fight infections this winter.

She is in pain. While I don't think it's extreme, it is continual. Her front left ankle is fused, with very little movement. Her left right ankle is also fused, hugely swollen, and painful.

She has lost most of her sight. When working with her and around her, I always talk to her so she knows where I am. A moment of silence and she will jump in my lap when I start talking or if I touch her, because she doesn't see me.

At the end of last week, Cathy decided that it was time to let her go. If weight was the only issue, we'd go forward with this, but with everything going on with this mare, the kindest thing is to say goodbye. Until then, I will do everything to make her as comfortable as possible.

I will be with her when she slips free of her pain and crosses the Rainbow Bridge to the lush pastures that God has set aside for these beautiful animals we call Horse.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

EEeewwww...What's that smell??

I came home and hosed Joy off tonight. I figured with as hot as it's been the last week or so, she could use a hosing off, just to wash the sweat and dusty, crusties off.

Once the water hit, there was a strong, sickly sweet smell. Very cloying and heavy. My husband walked out about 10 minutes after I was done and said, "Sheesh! What stinks?" It's like those humans that have a milk allergy and emit a strong body odor. You know the ones...

So I'm back to thinking....Joy has something systemic going on.

She's been on a probiotic since she's been here, so the gut enzymes should be leveled out.

What is it? and...what can I feed her to balance out whatever is causing it?


It's baaaacckk!!! ROWR!

The flaky, crusty crap is back! With a vengeance!

I thought we had this licked, cleared up, taken care of! I thought it was just minor left-overs. OH HELL NO! It's still there. Just as bad as before.

What IS this stuff? Holy crap! I can't get rid of it!

Poor Joy! Back to bathing and topical applications! She probably is digging it, thinking she's being pampered! Lucky for me, she likes baths.

SOooo frustrating!

Friday, July 11, 2008

So funny!!!

I got a kick out of watching Joy today. She'd walk over to the water trough, stick her nose in, then sling her head, raining drops onto her neck. Maybe this is the reason the rainrot (at least that's what I THINK it is) never cleared up. A - her mane was trapping moisture and blocking air and light, B - she kept getting it wet!

What a goofy girl!

We didn't make it to the dental appointment. Something came up and it's been postponed. I serious don't think her teeth are a MAJOR issue anyway, since she's gain a LOT of weight.

I have a call in to the farrier. She's getting long, though she has great feet! No chipping or anything.

I picked up a product today called "Calm Coat". It's supposed to help with itchy skin. They had a huge bottle at the feed store for $36.99, but I opted for a smaller amount. Cheap, I know, but why spend the money if it's not going to help any more than the M-T-G?? Don't get me wrong, the M-T-G HAS helped, but it's in a little squirter bottle. The Calm Coat is going to be transferred to a spray bottle - one of those $1 specials from Walmart. After all, it DOES say on the bottle to use it sparingly....

Project #2 - Shyanna

Shyanna has been here for 11 days now and has gained a TON of weight. I'm going to worm her again tonight. She has settled in and is showing her attitude! I remember now...she's a rotten, crabby, bitch of a horse. I figure in another 2 weeks, I'll be able to start riding her. She also has a date with the farrier. This mare is only 8 or 9 yrs old and has already been to Hell and back.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How do YOU spell relief?

I've got a line on a feed supplement for Joy that will help repel the flies. It's by Springtime and it's natural garlic. Who'd've thunk it?

It makes sense though.

You know, it would help tremendously if the silly girl would use her OPEN stall for a toilet.

I suppose I should update her feed schedule, since she's progress to the point where I've cut some things out.

5 pound teff hay

5 pound teff hay
3 pounds Strategy GX
2 pound Equine Senior
1 scoop SLH Bright Eyes (Yes...I see improvement)

Her flakey dry itchy skin HAS improved. I haven't seen her scratching, other than the dang flies. There IS one spot on the point of her hip that she's chewed the skin off, about the size of a nickel. This tells me that she's still itchy there.

So this Friday, after her dental appointment, she's going to get a bath in comcentrated T-Cleanse. Her coat is shiny and feels a little oily to the touch. That's from the Amplify, which she isn't getting any longer. I never got my lazy butt to the store to look for something like a coat moisturizer.

I have a new fly spray that I'm using that's mMarigold extract based. It smells like candy! Rated number 1 by a Horse Magazine trial.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Could we not poop in the water bucket....PLEEASE?

I came home tonight and Joy was extra vocal. I figured she was STARVING so I threw her some hay, then opened gates to let the rest of the mob (except one) out on pasture. Then I came around to check the waterers...the ones I have to fill by hand.

Joy had pooped, MORE THAN ONCE, in her water! Apparently, she was not happy about me moving the tub closer to the shade. I'd gotten tired of scrubbing the algae out of the tub every other day. sigh

She had a big long drink, then went to the grain feeder and snuffled around, then gave me "The Look". You know, the one that says "Umm...excuse me. Empty here." I explained to her that if she didn't poop in the water, she wouldn't be thirsty. She just looked at me, so I guess I'm back to scrubbing algae. yea

Saturday, July 5, 2008

OOOOH! SO Soft!!!!

So Joy finally got her bath today! I bathed her with Head N Shoulders, Dry Scalp Care. After her bath, I put her away and fed her, so she dried without rolling. She is SO SOFT and shiny! The flies are still finding her delicious, so I'm trying to think of something that I can feed her to make her undersirable.

There IS a feed-through fly replellent, but with all her other problems, I don't think that's an option. So, I broke out my homeopathic book and found that garlic will repel mosquitos and flies. Perhaps 1/2 tbs of garlic powder will help? Until I figure it out, she'll just have to suffer with the fly spray.

Even though Joy got her bath, she is still very flaky in places. Even after scrubbing... I don't get it. I brushed her and it made her look better temporarily, but I feel that it'll be back come morning. The MTG will help, but it's so oily! Besides, she pretty much needs it on her entire topline, and I don't have enough to do that.

So, tomorrow, I'm off to the feed store to see if they have something in a spray bottle that will help relieve the scaly skin and itchiness on a more permanent basis.

I've got two other horses that have the dry/dusty stuff on their faces. It's not on the body, just the faces. They came out of winter with it. Heddy, a TB mare I had, had it all over and came from the same place that Joy came from. I wonder if perhaps Joy just has a more pronounced case of whatever it is.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I'm so mean.....riiiiight!

Ok so I said last night that I didn't feed grain and supplements. Softy that I am, it bothered me until I got off my hot and sweaty butt and went out and made up the buckets. Joy apologized for calling me bad names and decided she loves me after all.

Joy is looking SO GOOD! She almost looks...fat? Well...not fat in the same way Stephanie's "air puffs" are fat, but for Joy, fat. She's getting a major haircut tomorrow! I've got the green light from Cathy to "roash away". The MTG will help it to grow back fast! The bald spots had noticable growth is just under a week. Maybe the light and air will heal up the grungy gunk that lurks there...

Joy is also getting a bath tomorrow. I'm going to try the Head N Shoulders shampoo, see if that helps. I noticed that she is a LOT less itchy than she was when she got here. I just might have to break out the clippers tonight.

Joy has been on the SLH Bright-Eyes for what??? a week and a half? I was checking her tonight and her eyes looked...well...BRIGHTER!


Shyanna is settling in. She calls for her former herdmates. Trauma = drama. I listed all the things that her owner would need to get her "put back together". The girl is 17, yet she got in her car and went to the nearest ATM to withdraw the money. I was pleasantly surprised. Near as I can tell, the only thing wrong with this mare, other than her God-awful feet, is that she just wasn't getting enough food. Plain and simple.

Cathy blogs about this ALL THE TIME, but I hadn't witnessed this depth of asshattery, ever! To steal her term, I'm aghasted!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The New Girl

Shyanna is owned by my daughter's friend. She used to be at my house, but they felt that $100 a month was too much to pay for board, plus I was always telling that the mare needed wormed, and that she needed trimmed. So they moved to mare to a different friend's house, where she's been for the past two and half years. Well, the other friend (who is 17) decided that she didn't want to live at home anymore and took off to live God only knows where. So her parents decided that they're selling EVERYTHING and the horse needed to be moved.

So Shyanna came to stay at my house again. She is a 9 yr old reg. paint, breeding stock, either daghter or grand-daughter of Scribbles on top, and grand-daughter of Mardell Dixon on the bottom. She's about 15 hands...maybe. She weighs about 800 pounds. Maybe.

This mare is SKINNY! God only know how long it's been since she's been seen by a farrier, probably the last time she was trimmed at my house. Asshat redneck other friend's dad said, "When they got a little long, he'd called her to come ride her down the road." Hmm....

I asked when she was wormed last. "Oh, she's not around outside horses, so she didn't need it. Hmmm....

At other friend's house there was no grass (not even in the yard), just sand. I'm guessing she needs to have her teeth done. DUH!

As for other friend's horses, there are three. A seasoned rodeo/barrel racing paint gelding. A QH mare - show horse. (Do 4-H shows count?) And a 4 yr old cuter than shit mustang. AND> guessed it....he's a stallion. The kill buyer offered the guy $50 a head for them.

I told him, "If you want to sell them, get their teeth floated, get them shod, WORM them, fatten them up, and take a brush to them. Oh yeah, and cut the balls of that stallion. Not many people want a mustang ANYTHING, let alone a stallion. And most people aren't set up to handle stallions. Once he's gelded, put 60 days training into him and MAYBE, you can get $1,000 for him. But that's pushing it. There's just no market for mustangs. And there's no market for seasoned well trained horse that have crappy feet and look like shit."

Can you believe it? He got pissed. Asked me to just take the horse and leave. So I did...giggling and snickering, and cussing his stupid rotten ass for not seeing that his horses are HUNGRY and in bad shape!

I'm also very disgusted with the fact that this mare's owner ALLOWED her to get into that condition. At least she's not covered in ticks! That would be just too much.


Joy was all mad at me tonight because she only got hay. I didn't appear out of the tackroom with the magic bucket with yummy stuff in it. She called me a bad name as I stepped up onto the porch to go into the house. I think she meant it, too....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

This horse is part....Beaver? HUH!?!

Every time I go out to the barn, I look at the horses, look for new "boo-boos", check the waterers, etc. Just give everything a look over to see if something has changed. Even though the horses are all penned separately, they still manage to inflict an injury on themselves.

So I checked them all over, treated the belly swirl where the biting flies like to attack (Vick VapORub works great) and was standing outside the barn next to Joy's run freshening her water. The upper part of the panel that separates Joy and Angel is pieces of wood, spaces out so they can see each other, but not bite. Along the edges of the wood, were fresh chewing, as if I had a beaver in tasting the wood.

I mean COME ON!!! She has free access to pasture, all the hay she wants and she STILL has to eat my barn. RAWR!!! GRF! GROWRS! Stupid horse! :O(

Ok, so won't be TOO mad if I roach her mane...will you?

She still has all this flakey stuff in her mane, almost to her poll. Honey had that and even though I treated it every day, it didn't go away until I roached her mane and let the air and light get to the skin. Her mane just hold SO MUCH crap!

She is getting another bath on Friday. I'm going to get some Head N Shoulders and she is getting a Full Body Wash, even legs and belly!