Thursday, November 13, 2008

Slow going...

Not much to write about because not much is happening! I'm trying to get in touch with a highly-recommended chiropractor to give the VLC an adjustment and see if we can get him back to 100%. I'm sure if I trotted him past 100 people, 99 would ask me WTF I was talking about, but one of you would see what I'm seeing...slightly uneven on the left hind. I've been keeping him in more and only turning out in the arena since we've had a monsoon here and everything outside is slop. He doesn't seem to care. He's certainly an easy horse - he's happy living outside, he's happy living in a stall. Nothing in the world stresses this horse. He'll deal well with the horseshow life.

We're taking it very slow with Lucy. She's still very nervous about ground work so the current goal is longeing at the walk without thinking we're going to eat her. She remains unconvinced, but I think it will just take time. She's so much better on the ground than she used to be that I know she'll come around with time. We are still trying to ID her - I sent off pics and info to the Thoroughbred Protective Association for the really high-tech search this week so I'll let you know if we get a hit!

The Drama pony is doing very well. As I think I mentioned, we found an even smaller rider for her - and one who has more recent jumping experience - so she is learning to jump and getting close to being ready for her first schooling show. I can't wait to post those pictures so you can all see - she is just adorable over fences, but they have to be high enough or she is lazy. It's just so easy for her.

All right, hopefully someone else has something more exciting to report! I may have a new project to talk about soon, but I'll bet some of you have a new project already. Fill us in!


Josie said...

We are under water! All the stalls have flooded -- the horses are all in the arena except for Macy and Ella (weanling fillies) who are sharing one of two dryish stalls with the two llamas, and Coaster who gets the other dryish stall due to his stallion status. We don't need flood babies next October!

This is not a bit fun. I'm exhausted and it's not even noon yet.

Deer Run Stables said...

Yuck! We got the flooding out of the way during the spring and summer here in Missouri, and the fall was pretty nice up until a week ago or so.

I feel for you, with the flooded barn, though, Josie-- I got that twice this year, for the first time in the 13 years I've lived on this place. It's a horrible feeling, knowing that the horses are going to have to stand in two inches of water for a few hours until it subsides, because the alternative is the six inches of water outside!

There's nothing quite like hauling all of that sodden bedding out of the stalls afterward, either.

Fugly, just out of curiosity, what exactly does Lucy do on the lunge line when she's scared?

Drillrider said...

I have a new project. I rescued my two "old" horses back from a rescue! They are extremely underweight and my anglo/arab's feet are a MESS. Not sure how this woman managed to mess these horses up so badly in under a year.

I'm waiting for pictures I took of them when they arrived and will have to do a write up so maybe FHOTD will run a story on this rescue?

They have only been in operation for a year and already Animal Control has them on "watch".

tierra said...
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tierra said...

I know I should go back and read past postings instead of asking, but what happened to the VLC? My horse suffered from a hamstring injury and has short-strided for, oh... two years now. It comes and goes--like he now has a weakness there. Massage, chiro and acupuncture have all helped. Also... and you'll think I'm crazy... riding him with full blinders on forces him to use the leg more and also helps strengthen it (now that it's no longer a raw or new injury). Of course, I would not jump on a horse in full blinders when he's just a greenie. :)

amarygma said...

New project: masters thesis writing.

It's horrible. I miss my horse.

Ellie said...

Werther was so good today I'm thinking he should be nominated for sainthood. His pasture buddy, TJ got loose today while I was bringing Werther in and Werther stood like a statue while TJ galloped circles around and was running straight at him. Werther totally saved my bacon, if he had freaked out, TJ was galloping close enough that he probably would have run me over.

Ellie and Werther Blog

moosefied said...

I don't have anything very exciting to report, but I'm really enjoying getting Bullwinkle accustomed to The Outside World. We went to look at a field of sheep, complete with Border Collies. Bullwinkle was astounded and alarmed. What was cute was how he kept turning his nose to me, looking at me like, "WHAT?!" and then turning back and goggling at the sheep. We also had a turnout blanket lesson, but I got the impression Bullwinkle was merely playing, trotting around me in circles while I flapped it at him. We walked past a pasture with a large, dramatic, fence-charging horse, and I was glad that it didn't terrify Bullwinkle. He was nervous but still pretty steady. More "experience walks" are upcoming.

moosefied said...

I want to add that Bullwinkle's not yet 6 months old, so his steadiness is a welcome preview of his adult temperament.

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>Fugly, just out of curiosity, what exactly does Lucy do on the lunge line when she's scared?<<

Scoot-y, nervous, and is watching you the whole time trying to see what you are going to do to her. In general, she just wildly was the same when I rode her. A little heel and she JUMPED sideways. And I mean a little.

It's going to take time. Oh well, I have time. We're not going to the Olympics. :-)

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>I'm waiting for pictures I took of them when they arrived and will have to do a write up so maybe FHOTD will run a story on this rescue?<<

Sure, I'm in. I like to out the bad ones so that people know which ones they can trust!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>I know I should go back and read past postings instead of asking, but what happened to the VLC?<<

Best guess, too many rollbacks in the muddy paddock. He is a big fan of galloping right up to a gate and doing the mud-flying-slide-stop, and I suspect in our sloppy PNW weather, he slid the wrong way. I'm having a vet out who also does chiro so he will get both a traditional eval and an adjustment and hopefully be back to normal soon. I want to get him to the trainer's SO badly but of course he's not going if he's not 100%. Last thing we need to do is force a sore horse to collect and make him a sour, pissed off horse.

BarnHag said...
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BarnHag said...

Hmmm. We're working on ... getting used to the smell of death. Here in Colorado a lot of people take butchered deer legs and introduce them to their greenies so there won't be any freak outs on the trail due to a dead animal carcass.

I brought a couple of BIG meaty bones home from the deer butchering place, let them get ripe and let the geldings smell them yesterday.

Both stood their ground but blew/snorted - and their eyes got big as saucers. Then I just left them on the ground near their salt block and horse drinker so they couldn't avoid them.

By today they're treating them like they've been there all their lives. (The DOG had to be run away from them - he thought he'd hit the jackpot).

November 13, 2008 4:16 PM

tierra said...

Sounds like my horse. His favorite activity in the world is doing an impressive sliding stop right up next to a fence when turned out. That may be how mine messed up his hamstring--either that, or he also enjoys taking jumps while being turned out.

I do hope that's NOT what happened to your boy, because hamstring pulls are pesky injuries and I it still shows up in my horse occasionally. To be fair--I think the injury is worse for a TWH, since they stride out so far behind and tend to re-injure themselves. But still... not fun to deal with.

Good luck with him.

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Interesting to read all these comments.

We're enjoying young horses . . .


Deer Run Stables said...

"Scoot-y, nervous, and is watching you the whole time trying to see what you are going to do to her."

Hmm... sounds like a job for the friendly game with the lunge whip-- or "sacking out", if you prefer. ;-)

Also, since I assume she is okay with leading, is there a magic distance where she's okay with you walking around in a big circle while she walks around in a slightly bigger circle, so it's almost like leading, but a little bit like lunging? Then, you could let her out a bit further at a time, to make it more like lunging, but bring her back inside her "safety zone" to take the pressure off.

Just some thoughts.

Joy said...

barnhag said:

"(The DOG had to be run away from them - he thought he'd hit the jackpot)." <-- that just made me snort and laugh out loud!

Aren't QH's cool? I love that VLC is so content w/ his surroundings. I hope his lameness is figured out soon. My QH is the ulitimate, "ok whatever, I guess this is life now." I luffff him so.

J. Hatchett said...

I hate wet winters they are the worst. Makes me very greatful for a heated barn.

BritnieAnn said...

Sorry to hear the VLC is a little off, hope your chiro can do the trick for you!

Not much going on here either, the horses are out in a pasture much too far away to be convenient to get to them, and I'm much too lazy at this point to try ;)
I did have fun with the yearling playing over a board on the ground, getting him ready for some trailer loading. He did awesome. Just wuv him!

Ridng Ms. Daisy (and Son)

fyyahchild said...

My horse, Tax, has a groupie! How funny is that?

I got an e-mail from a woman who saw him race and followed his racing career. She told me she was worried when she saw him going down in the claiming ranks and then saw his name pop up on the vet list. She was worried he'd been run into the ground and broke down. She was happy to hear that he'd been retired to a good home to be retrained for a new show career.

She said she Googles his name once in a while to see if anyone had mentioned him and she found my blog. So weird to think of my horse's life before he came to live with us, and SO cool someone actually read my blog!

Sorry, I had to share with people who would understand. My husband looks at me like I'm nuts when I tell him horse stories.

Tax is doing really well and continues to impress me. He's so stinkin' smart. He's finally starting to lighten up in front and carry himself better. My friend Kara's been working on leg yeilds with him and she says he picked up on it really quickly.

I start back in lessons soon. My old trainer finally got settled into her new barn. I can't wait. I think I've made some huge progress on my own just from reading the Mugwump Cronicles and from having December (my first not green horse) to practice with. Having a horse that knows what's supposed to happen really helps you learn to feel what your body should be doing. If I shift to look where I want her to go, and apply a little leg, she just turns. So awesome.

I'm showing next spring and that's final. Now if I can just lose 40 pounds so I can fit into a pair of breeches without dying of embarassment I'll be thrilled. Weight Watchers, here I come.

Michelle said...

I spent the entire gorgeous months of September AND October ..... painting. Painting by hand, with a brush, rough-sawn pine. 18 friggin' gallons of paint, by hand with a brush. I can no longer feel my right arm, and have to wait 3 hours after I get up in the morning to brush my teeth because I keep dropping the toothbrush. But it is finally finished, the last couple of days I actually finished in the rain (its not fun wiring outside floodlights in the rain -- or painting inside stalls in the rain). But the painting is finished! And the rains have started -- its been raining ever since, and the roundpen and paddock are back to mud. So I've done nothing but tell my mare "I promise, soon". She really wants to do something .. she keeps asking me to go out and play.

But at least the barn is finished, and they have more room to stay dry. All that's left is a few lights and outlets, and more base/footing -- but there is no $$ for that right now, so it will have to wait. No stalls yet, just a big run-in.

brat_and_a_half said...


Other than that, haven't been doing much with the little WB filly. Just been riding her on weekends, so it's been really light riding, usually 15 minute in the ring and a walk trot trail ride. But it's good for both of us.

Next project, I started working with my coachs not so little 2 year old filly (shes 2 and is a late august baby and is 16 hands). She's really agreeable, and I think shes going to be fairly simple. I thought she might be more difficult to do some ground work (the LWBF was more stubborn) since she was bigger, but once you show her the 'answer' to something (show her the release) she gets it really quickly.

Its reallly wet here too. Its only frosted twice but it snowed and stayed today! Totally weird.

Nagonmom said...

Fugs. last week I rode my 4 year old Draft cross at the trainer !Off the lunge line!! for the first time. I was in tears climbing off, and hugged the junior trainer. Today, again. This is in large part due to reading this blog, and luck in finding a trainer. My horse is magnificent. He has not always made the best choices, but they have hung in there with him, and I think he will be a grand mount when finished, which by my book will not be until next spring. I have no indoor to ride in, and he will forget everything if left out for the next winter season. Thanks Fugly.

Serendipity said...

Well... last Sunday my redhead dumped me for what was the first time in about two years, though he'd been trying for a while. That's what I get for riding out in the fields without a chain.

He got overexcited at the canter, and when I was just going to let him go forward till he got his head back, he put said head between his knees and cow-hopped like a bastard. Happened so fast I was on the ground and he was gone before the other two riders even realized I'd been unhorsed. Don't worry, I'm fine; my fall was broken by my pride and right ass-cheek.

Princess Jess said...

The other morning I made myself be brave and I worked on mounting with Jack. He let me get on and off of him a bunch of times, as long as I did it quickly. If we stood still he'd start to get nervous.

BUT we made it through the entire training session without him snorting once! WooHoo!

Now I just have to take many deep breaths and take him for a ride. Logically, I know that what freaks him out is the stading still part. Last time I rode him, he LAUNCHED my ass and I ended up with a stress fracture in my foot. He wanted to walk off, I was prepared for it, so I instinctively pulled back on the reins, which friend his little brain and he lost it. I know that with him, I just need to let him walk/trot off like an OTTB. He's perfectly fine once we're moving.

While LOGICALLY I know this, the problem is actually forcing myself to get on him again.....

Maybe I will look and see if my health insurance covers any sports psychologists. LOL. Just kidding. Sort of.

Okay back to work... big case I'm about to close tomorrow, then I can spend more time with my ponies!!! I can't wait.

Jst4Fun said...

Fugs-I was relieved to read that you are having the VLC adjusted by a chiro who is also a vet. The VLC is too nice a horse to try and take short cuts with! I have been fighting a LH lameness off and on for over a year with one of my horses and it was finally diagnosed as a bad high suspensory injury... This was of course after the $2000 whole body nuc scan, numerous blocks, etc. But having finally identified the problem he had surgery and is finally SOUND, though I am taking my life in my hands if it's cool and windy and I am trying to ride (to rehab him)! Anyway, I hope the VLC does not have a suspensory injury, but the running/sliding you describe is definitely one way to get that injury. I look forward to hearing what your vet finds.

tierra said...

OT, but you mentioned on fuglyhorseoftheday something about natural balance shoeing. I just started using it for my horses for various reasons and a vet recommendation, and I'm getting a lot of flak about how I'm ruining my horses and making them short-strided (amongst other things). I'd love to hear your thoughts about it and maybe others who have tried it. Thanks.

mugwump said...

tierra-The last place I worked stood a stud that had been retired early from chronic quarter cracks. The owners had put thousands of dollars into vets and shoers. She decided to try Natural Balance shoes. She even used Gene Ovnicek in Penrose, the inventer and promoter of the method. At first it seemed to be working.The owner was willing to deal with her horse's shortened stride and loss of an even stop and back because he seemed to be healing. The sliders were a disaster. He couldn't balance on them and began stopping with one hind forward and one back. The shoes made him stand on his toes.Literally with his toes stabbed in the dirt and his heels not touching the ground. Although we were worried, we were assured it was the way it should be. His cracks began to grow out.
Then they blew again. Worse than before. Each attempt to fix them became worse. It got so bad the owner gave up and let my shoer take over. He trimmed the horse every three to four weeks, but kept him barefoot.
Within a year he was healed and sound and has been since.
I would be very careful.

tierra said...

Mugwump--thanks. That is pretty dang scary.

Sagebrusheq said...

I would echo Mug's comments. Though it is essential to progress to keep one's mind open and receptive to advancements in the craft and science of all aspects of horsemanship, I would be extremely cautious about adopting any shoeing/trimming method that purports to supplant all the learning that has preceded it, the words 'new' and 'natural' being flags of brilliant red hue. By the use of half truths and unfounded premises it is easy to convince someone- who doesn't know much and is desperately looking for answers- of the validity of one's conclusions, especially if the seller is earnest and believes in what he is selling. For sound conservative information on this subject see Doug Butler's 'Principles of Horse Shoeing' or 'Elements of Farrier Science' by D.M. Canfield.

ariemay said...

Well, I've sold my "good" horse and now have to really get back to work on my rescue. She's put on weight and now needs conditioning.

I'm nervous as hell in the saddle since I have two bad ankles. I don't know how they will hold up to any funny business, but I do know that I cannot land hard on them in an emergency dismount, so I will be riding it out as long as I can.

Eeeek...and it's a beautiful sunny day here too... My excuses are getting pretty thin.

Better (wo)man up!