Saturday, March 31, 2012

Disappearing Pile of Poo

See the pile of poo above? That picture was taken last month (I think) and the pile had grown considerably.

Below is what the pile looks like after spending most of the day hauling poo to the arena. There's probably 1/4 of it left, which I will finish hauling tomorrow. You can see in the foreground the dark staining that shows where there had been poo.

Also tomorrow, I'll turn the horses out and start rebuilding the pile of poo. *sigh...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Play Time

Turnout is always fun! I stand and watch the kids run and buck and fart before they settle down to eating. Unfortunately, by the time I found the camera, the excitement was mostly over.

Roger and Show Ticket. Lucy is off camera.

Foxy and Texas Chili watching the shenanigans. "OOOHHH... the excitement!" Balls of fire they are....NOT!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rylee's Logic

1. If it's mine, it's mine.
2. If it's yours and I want it, it's mine.
3. If it look like yours, it's mine.
4. If I have it, it's mine.
5. If you have it, it's mine.
6. If I see it, it's mine.
7. If I'm on it, it's mine.
8. If... oh never mind, it's mine.

Texas Chili aka Dr. Destructo

Texas Chili is a 1998 grandson of Exceller. He last raced in August 2006. During his racing career, he had 32 Starts - 9 First, 8 Seconds, and 4 Thirds for lifetimes earnings of $270,888. He a descendant of Bold Ruler and Man O War.

Sometime between August 2006 and July 2010, Texas Chili fell through the cracks, as often happens with racehorses once they are pulled from the track, either due to injury, or for failing to continue earning money. It is rumored that he went on to play polo and was successful at it. But he ended up in a field of dirt and rock before being rescued. The woman who rescued him didn't have the funds necessary to keep him, but because she cared about him, she gave him to a rescue outside of Yakima, WA called Avalon Mist.

Avalon Mist assessed him as a riding horse and due to an injury to his poll, possibly from pulling back while tied, decided that he would not be suitable to re-home as a riding horse. Debbie at Avalon also mention that she had seen him walking in the pasture and he would fall to his knees at random times. I have never witnessed this. Below is Texas Chili a few days after coming to living here. He is NOT getting scritches... he actually was out at the poll. It took about six weeks and daily stretching to resolved this.

Avalon Mist, also lacking resources to support a "pasture pet", contacted The Exceller Fund, who agreed to take the horse. Due to shipping costs, they wanted to find a safe place that provided good care close to Yakima. After making calls to contacts here on the west coast, they called me and arrangements were made to bring Chili here. His coat was burnt and course and dry. His overall weight was terribly horrible, but he still didn't look as good as we knew he could.

See how he eats stretched out? It's almost like his kidneys are bugging him or maybe he has a bean. He doesn't looked comfortable though. He is better, but that issue is still not resolved.

After a few months on pasture, quality hay, and a supplement called Necessity, the TRUE Texas Chili appeared. His coats was almost black and even when he was filthy, he looked glossy!

These pictures were taken in November 2011. A little skinny, eh?

Initially, Chili was in love with Lucy. She did NOT like him much, barely tolerating his presence. When Foxy came to live here, he dropped Lucy like a stinky terd and took up with Foxy. They have been inseparable ever since, either sharing a run, pen, and pasture, or penned next to each other.

Chili's former caretaker said he was a cribber. For most of the summer, I saw no evidence of that, perhaps because he had full access to pasture. Then the destruction started. He tore the corner feeder. LITERALLY TORE the heavy duty plastic! So I switched him to buckets, which he destroyed within a week. Only the heavy duty Rubbermade bucket has survived his attention, though I am constantly bending it back into a general bucket-shaped shape.

Then Chili and Angel spent a week arguing about something. Below is the end result. He actually BENT the metal!

This winter, he turned his attention to his heated water tubs. One morning, I found a thirsty horse standing in a muddy/mucky stall.

Apparently I am pretty slow to figure out the actual damage that a cribber can cause... Well, no, that's not right. I saw the damage, but I tried to mitigate it to prevent having to put a collar on him. Below is his opinion of having to wear one.

Texas Chili is one of the kindest, sweetest horses I have ever been around. Aside from the destruction of buckets, tubs, and stall walls, he is a joy to have around. The Exceller Fund has asked that Chili be retired permanently, so for the rest of his days, he will never be ridden. He will spend his time eating, sleeping, pooping, and wooing his red-haired girlfriend Foxy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sir Mix-A-Lot

No... I don't mean the rapper. I mean Roger B Rabbit.

Roger had been with Heather for quite a number of years after his career as a racehorse. If I remember right, 17 years. (Heather will correct me if I'm wrong) The point is, Heather knew him, his personality, and had him on a feed program that worked for both of them.

Roger, at 24 years old, is pretty much set in his ways about what he likes and dislikes, and his eating schedule. Then I bought him and threw a couple of wrenches in the gears.

Heather wrote out what she fed him, how she fed, ingredients, mixology, etc. and sent it home with me. I couldn't find the same ingredients. I didn't have the same "scoop". So, I had to make some changes. The challenge is finding what works best for the horse. I am still figuring that out.

The major problem, last fall, was that he went off his feed and took almost two weeks to settle in. He was not at the track with all the horses, noise and chaos. He was not at the boarding barn with his buddy and the comings and going. He was now at a quiet little country-ish barn with other horses and new feed person who gave him slop that didn't taste the same as before.

With all the other horses here, I throw hay, a scoop of Strategy Healthy Edge, a scoop of whole oats, add warm soaked beet pulp in the winter, and add supplements as required. Everybody eats every crumb. Not Roger.

Oh no! Definitely NOT Roger! He would go out to graze on the pasture IF Lucy was with him. (Initially, he a short affair with Jazzy, but Lucy is his girl!) If Lucy wasn't turned out, Roger didn't go out. He would eat SOME of the alfalfa, but routinely leaves about a quarter of it on the ground, mostly stems, but not all.

Fill a tub with beet pulp and let him have it and for three days he will eat it all. Then he turns up his nose and I have to feed it to the "fat hogs" that don't really need it. If I mix a big bucket of beet pulp, molasses, feed (Healthy Edge), and oats, he will stuff his mouth, then use his nose to sling it out on the ground. If it's on the ground, he won't eat it. The first time I added apple cider vinegar to the automatic water tank, he thought I was trying to poison him and got dehydrated. Lucky for me and him, Jazzy drank enough to remove most of it, and he decided it was safe to drink again.

He prefers the white salt, as opposed to the red salt blocks. And the Redmond Rock with salt and 50 trace minerals? He wondered why I am putting a ten pound rock on his plate and pooped on it.

He likes to have his heavy winter blanket on to protect against cold mornings. However, I have to follow him around while buckling it up because he needs to check to make sure Lucy is still on the other side of the fence. Once he sees that she is, he turns back into the stall to grab another bite of hay, then back out the check on Lucy.

Roger and his woman, Lucy

During the weekend, I am in and out of the barn quite a bit throughout the day and usually throw Roger an extra flake of hay for him to munch on, spread around, and waste. Since he is a cribber, I figure it best to keep hay in front of him all the time. (Heaven forbid he leave Lucy and go eat any grass on the pasture - although this time of year, there isn't much there anyway, but STILL)

Yesterday, I tossed him a handful of some orchard grass hay. I figured he would take a few bites, nose it around, and then pee on it. To my surprise, he actually ate it. I repeated the offer last night, a flake of alfalfa and wee bit of grass hay. It was ALL gone this morning.

Somewhere in the dim recesses of my tiny pea brain, something bumped up the dimmer switch, adding a little light on this conundrum. Roger is happiest with change.

So I am going to experiment with the theory of changing it up every couple of days and see if we can't make His Majesty happy. He is the only horse I know that will turn up his nose at food.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Gettin' My Stink On!

That's what Mike calls it.

Just before Christmas, I won't up with a sore right shoulder. It hurt on the tendons on the front of my shoulder. i don't remember doing anything to hurt it. Nothing more that usual. It just hurt. And it hasn't gone away.

Despite have a cortisone injection into the bursa, which was definitely NOT the problem, NOTHING has helped. And of course, I haven't used ice or heat, just taken anti-inflammatories.

Friday was clean up poop day around here. After 5 hours, my shoulder was killing me. I could NOT get any relief, so I found the ice packs. I went through four and I still hurt...badly. I soaked it in the tub. Still hurt.

When I was drying off, Mike suggested a sports cream. I HATE sports creams! Then I remembered that I had bought some Thera-gesic. I'd heard about it on Paul Harvey and I thought "What the heck." I rubbed some on and smelled "minty fresh", and had the hot/cold sensation of the hated sports cream. BUT, whithin about 20 minutes, my shoulder didn't hurt. I rubbed some more on before I went to bed and wasn't awakened by my shoulder once in the night.

When I woke up this morning, I was actually laying on my "bad" shoulder and when I rolled onto my back, it hurt like the dickens! (I don't know what a "dickens" is, but it's painful) More Thera-gesic. By the time the coffe was done brewing, my shoulder felt better.

Throughout the day, before I did any "work" that would eventually cause pain, I rubbed some on and was able to get through it without feeling any pain.

I brushed manes and tails and bodies of seven horses today and four of them are sixteen hands or taller, and two of them needed blankets put on for the night. My shoulder did ache so I rubbed some on just before starting today's entry. It is already feeling better.

SO... for aches and pains, I totally recommend getting and using Thera-gesic.