Yes, I am back after a much needed hiatus from the blogging world. Our family just had too much going on for my to-do list to include keeping up with my blogs. So much has happened, I don't think I can cover it all at once, so I will try to do some shorter blogs with new photos so I can fill everyone in on what's been going on in my crazy horse life. Happy 2012...more to come soon.
Friday, February 11, 2011
I am becoming quite unsatisfied with my current horse feed. We have been using this local brand (in TX) for over 3 years. However, as my horses' needs change with age, training levels, local hay quality, etc., I am not seeing the results I once saw with this feed. I hate the idea of having to put every horse on different feed. I like simplicity and I like keeping things natural. Regardless, its time for a change. Also, I am feeding two feed types right now....a combination of sweet feed and an alfalfa based pellet to help them get a little more forage, especially for the senior guys who don't grind their hay like they once did and have a hard time getting what they need from their hay alone. I have researched both Purina and Nutrena brands since I can get them in our area. I am liking the looks of the following: Nutrena's Safe Choice, Purina's Senior for my 31 year old gelding, and Purina's Strategy Healthy Advantage. Has anyone had any luck or disappointments with any of these options?? Any other suggestions?? I have one easy keeper in his prime, 2 youngsters who are moderate keepers and 2 seniors at this point.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
January was a rough month around here horse-wise. After dealing with the loss of Ranger early in the month, the hits didn't stop. I am hopeful that now we are on hiatus from horse issues, but boy, has it been an exciting month! A couple of weeks after Ranger's colic, we took a little weekend trip to West Texas for some r & r. We had an amazing day all day Saturday including a nice trail ride and some cattle work. Bailey pushed some cows around for the first time and did great! The weather was beyond perfect. In fact, it was turning out to be one of the best weekends in a long while. As we were getting ready to put the horses up and head to the house for dinner, my husband decided to go for one more short ride. Well, unfortunately, it didn't end up so well. Let's just sum it up by saying he came off the horse and landed directly on his left shoulder. He instantly knew something was wrong and I could see his collar bone sticking up a little. He thought it might be broken, but turns out he has a complete, grade 3 AC separation. After one doctor visit ending with surgery as the recommendation we went for a second opinion. It looks like he probably won't need surgery, according to the second, more experienced surgeon. We go to a third orthopedist soon just to see if we can get two opinions that are the same and to see about some new symptoms he is having. Most recently in our crazy horse life, Bailey showed up to the barn for dinner (after being completely fine at breakfast and in the early afternoon) with a severely swollen and lame left hind leg. I put her up for the night after some water therapy and a little Bute, in hopes she just banged up her leg a little in some mysterious way or another. I figured by morning she would be much improved and on her way back to normal. Well, I was wrong. The swelling and lameness was no better. We ended up taking her in to the vet fearing tendon or ligament issues or worse, bone fracture. The swelling was pretty intense so, we really couldn't pin point any one source of her lameness. After palpating her leg and doing a diagnostic nerve block in the fetlock joint, the lameness improved greatly, but nothing was definitive because of the inflammation. She had been wrapped and stalled for a week and I removed the wrap on Tuesday for the first time. I was really disheartened to see what truly looked like a bowed tendon. So, back to the vet we went this morning. I had re-wrapped her leg and not seen it in the flesh since Tuesday. I was very surprised and relieved to see an enormous amount of improvement today once the wrap was removed. She also showed no signs of lameness! Incredibly miraculous in my book. Our vet is confident it is only an irritation of the tendon sheath. Whew! I really thought that we were doomed and I had been so worried and depressed all week. Well, what was another log on the fire of crazy stuff from the past month, ended on a pretty positive note today. Bailey should make a full recovery. She is still on stall rest for 3 weeks with light hand walking and then we go back to the vet for a check up. I don't mess around with tendon, ligament, or bone issues. I want to make sure all is well before we start back to doing anything. So, we will be taking everything very slowly. I had already been planning on investing in some good support boots and now I am definitely going to be doing that. I would welcome any recommendations on brands, etc. Here's to hoping the next 30 days will be less eventful than the last.
Monday, February 7, 2011
I have been avoiding this post for weeks now, but I figured it was time to get it over with. In early January, actually, the week after I got a positive report from our WA vet regarding Ranger's progress with the chronic laminitis, I got a dreaded phone call. The owner of the barn where Ranger has been staying called late on that Saturday night to advise me that Ranger was in the throws of colic and had cast himself inside his run-in shelter. He had gotten Ranger up and out of the shelter, walked him and tried keeping him up on his feet but things were getting worse, so the on-call vet was on her way out. Ranger had been on a strict diet of coastal hay only and nothing in his diet or feeding schedule had changed. He also had unrestricted access to temperate, fresh water, as always. Also, this was the first incidence of colic for Ranger. This was just one of those colics that randomly happens and we don't fully know why. I will spare you all the details, but after 2 days of doing all that we could for him, things continued to get worse. Surgery was then our only option. That would have meant a 6 hour trailer ride and not knowing if we had that much time, combined with the concerns of his chronic founder, we elected to end his suffering. Even though the decision was extremely hard, especially given other circumstances in our life and with not being there with him through all of this, we feel it was the right decision. The vet agreed with us as did the barn owner, after we made our decision. I am eternally grateful to our wonderful vets who were so brutally honest with us and were so willing to help with all the details of this ordeal every step of the way. Everyone was so amazing. And we owe an immense amount of gratitude to the barn owner, our friend, who loved and cared for Ranger in those last days as if Ranger was his own. Thank you Gerry. You are an exceptional human being. So, Ranger has gone on to the pastures next to the Rainbow Bridge, where we will meet again one day. I will miss him more than words can describe. I will miss his humorous antics and his fearless, dog-like nature. He was truly a gem among horses and will be irreplaceable. Rest peacefully my faithful friend.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Our vet headed out to see Ranger yesterday and do another set of x-rays. He called me with his findings...the good news, Ranger isn't any worse. The x-rays look almost exactly like they did back in September. Bad news...Ranger isn't any better. Now, that can kinda be expected since he won't be growing much new hoof now that winter is here. The truth is that we won't really know what hand we are going to be dealt until we are a year out from when he foundered...when the foot has totally grown out. Then, we will pretty much have what we will have. He could always get worse in the meantime or any time after. So, we will have to monitor him closely for the rest of his days. The vet thinks since he isn't in any kind of pain or discomfort right now, if we can keep it that way, that we have a good chance at using him as a light riding horse for trails or as a lesson horse. However, there is still the chance that once we try to start using him, that his feet won't tolerate it. Time will tell, I guess. The vet did say that he is still worse in the left than the right and that he does display a little (the tiniest bit) of stiffness when he moves. This could be attributed to arthritis or from complications of the previous founder (of which we had no knowledge). There is no way to tell though. The x-rays show about 3 degrees of rotation in the front left, which is not much, and less than that in the right front. The sinking has improved and he has a good deal of sole and hoof wall, which is excellent news. So, all in all, he is doing good, but we aren't out of the woods by any means and we still have a long way to go. I did get a few photos of him from the barn owner yesterday, which was such a treat. It has been hard not to be there and see him in person and put my hands on him during all of this...especially with my being a little bit of a neurotic horse mom at times. I will admit, when it comes to my "kids" I can be a teeny bit controlling...not always, but sometimes. So, these photos were a welcomed sight. Here's my pretty boy in his paddock with his new shelter which the barn owner built just for him to stay out of the WA winter weather. These people are such lifesavers and I am so grateful to have found such a good place for Ranger to stay.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Saturday was my birthday, though I won't mention my age....I hate birthdays. I am not a fan of aging. However, I did talk the hubby into going to a horsey-thing (which is quite difficult for my husband) on my birthday and ONLY because it was my birthday. I have been searching long and far, high and wide for something horse-related that my husband would enjoy doing...so we can do horse things together. He doesn't really care for the training stuff I like to do such as clinics and he gets bored doing trail riding. The most fun I have ever seen him have on a horse was when we had to round up those horses on the neighbor's ranch in West Texas. He truly had a blast and couldn't stop talking about it for a week! He likes things with purpose. Well, here in New Mexico, I have started to meet some other horse people. I recently met the owners of the barn where a friend boards her horses and they told us about a team sorting they were hosting. I have been interested in sorting and penning and wanted to know more about it and find out if it was something that might pique the hubby's interest. So, we went...sans horses, of course. Right away the barn owner introduced himself to my husband and the talk was on. The hubby learned all about how sorting works and then started asking about cow working lessons and roping lessons! I think I have him on board...finally! We stuck around and watched most of the sorting and we are hooked. We were already strategizing for our sorts and can't wait to get our horses back up here and get started. The barn owners are super nice and have offered to help us get our horses started on cows and teach us more about sorting. The husband is buying a rope and wants to learn the basics of roping too. I am hoping this is the answer to my dilemma. Maybe this will finally be the horsey thing the hubby and I can do together. I'll let you know how it goes...
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The real reason I haven't been blogging as much, aside from the fact that my life has been pretty mundane, is that I have been busy working. Yep, no job, but I HAVE been working. I have been makin' lots of jewelry. I have done pretty well in the past month since starting a business Facebook page. Next on the "to do" list is to start selling on Etsy and FINALLY decide on a business name. I still draw a blank, even now. Anyhow, I really wanted to share the newest "branch" of my business and the one I am most excited about. I am now making and selling custom rhythm beads. Or for those of you who don't want the jingle, but still want the bling...horse jewelry. I will even do matching necklaces, bracelets, and/or earrings for the rider. I have never really cared for the rhythm beads you typically see on the market. You know, the ones made with the plastic pony beads and big ol' jingle bells. They just aren't my cup of tea. So, I thought, why can't I make really nice ones...ones I would almost want to steal from my horse and wear for myself? Well, that's what I am doing and I am having a blast. I love getting a photo from someone wanting beads for their horsey friend...a photo of a girl and her beloved horse...and creating something totally unique that is completely definitive of the horse-lover's personal style and taste. It warms my heart, actually. And what a personal, from-the-heart gift it is! So, if you are looking for the perfect gift for your horse-loving friend, consider these. It would be my personal pleasure to create something for that special friend. Or just get some for yourself!