Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Back at em!


Annie's back to work!  I was able to ride her several days last week after it was clear that her appetite was back and only a result of the icky antibiotics.  It's funny how much I missed riding her and how worried I was.  My second ride back (first ride was just a little putzzing around) she proved that her weekish off hadn't changed a thing.  Still willing to give her all in some parts and equally willing to flip me off in others.

I even took her for a short trail ride with her new Shire friend on Sunday.  While she wasn't exactly the brave leader I hoped she would be (her STATUE MODE when she sees something that might eat horses is a little annoying) it was nice to have a relaxing trail ride and the mountain bikers didn't bother her one bit.

This week the riding will be sporadic, we have inventory at work and the long/erratic schedule means I'm not going to have time or energy for much riding.  Fourth of July weekend we have Leg Up which I'm terribly glad we got to enter although I do wish we could find time to cram a lesson in.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Feeling barfy

Annie that is, if horses could feel barfy.

Annie was down outside on Monday when I came out to clean stalls and then down again when I looked out, I brought her in since laying down to roll once is normal, twice not so much, and she lay down again immediately.  Sometimes horses get gassy and it goes away quickly without the need for a vet so we left her in the arena and put her on the watch list.

Tuesday morning she didn't feel any better so the vet came out and found her with poor gut sounds, lots of gass on her tummy, and more alarmingly a fever.  She got oiled, a rectal exam, banamine, blood pulled for tests, and Cathy kept a close eye on her overnight.  The vet came out again on Wednesday morning as Annie wasn't any better with a scary temporary diagnosis of Potomac Horse Fever, a very scary illness.  It runs a high fever, diarrhea, and can lead to laminitis and founder if it isn't caught fast.  Without waiting for blood results Annie got hit with some powerful antibiotics via IV.

Luckily she came back negative for Potomac Horse Fever but blood results showed some sort of bacterial infection since we hadn't waited for a diagnosis she was already on antibiotics.

Friday was her last IV dose of antibiotics and her fever has stayed down without any banamine but we're still having trouble getting her to eat like normal.  She's eating bits here and there but not nearly enough to make us happy.

This all means that instead of packing up for our horse trial this weekend I've been coaxing Annie to eat by hand feeding her and fussing over her.  I've filled in the time by riding Penny and working with baby Al but it isn't the same as galloping XC on a good horse.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Baby getting backed!

Baby Al isn't such a baby anymore, he has now reached that age of wisdom we call "3" where he's considered old enough to have a job.  My long term plans are to start him under saddle walk trot and canter and take him to the barn I lesson at to hack him around a few times, then hit a late fall show where he gets a stall and gets to hang out with all the big horses but probably doesn't actually enter.

Right now he's learning all about big horse things.  I'm starting slow with basic groundwork like teaching him to lunge (ok at the walk, exciting at the trot), and to be used to having a rope all over parts of his body.  He learned how to wear a saddlepad last week and went from NO WAY! to MEH in one session.

One of my current favorite horse trainers on Youtube is this guy, Warwick Schiller.  He's a NH type trainer who does tons of groundwork with his client's horses.  He believes that good groundwork makes good horses and after carefully studying his videos I tend to agree.  Click on this video and look at the other videos he has made and watch the quiet progress of this young horse from rank to well behaved.


Here's baby Al with his first time feeling weight on his back, I don't have a timeline for actually getting on him and he probably  needs to wear a saddle first anyway but it was a good moment.  He has "ack!" baby horse spazz moments that blend in nicely with his "whatever moments."