Wednesday, June 2, 2021

An update on Copper and Sophie

I feel like Copper and my dog Sophie don’t get much attention on this blog. The cats and big horses tend to hog the spotlight. 

Copper is doing great and continues to be such a good boy. He is the barn favorite and everyone that visits falls in love with him. He has the temperament of a Labrador retriever, which certainly helps!
A friend who is nervous of big horses loves Copper

He has an old shoulder injury that has slowly affected the rest of his body over the years.  He is pasture sound only but that doesn't slow really him down at all.  That being said, I have my vet and chiro check him regularly and no one really has any tips to improve his lameness.  They have assessed that he isn't in much pain, but his injuries have forced his body to just not work properly, if that makes any sense. He has been on previcox as well with no real improvement. 

This winter I met a new equine body worker that really helped Fred, so I thought I’d have her out to check Copper.  She did a complete check and was able to help him unlock some stiffness. I’m not sure what kind of magic she worked, but he was walking better after a 30 minute treatment. He had a lot of stiffness in his SI joint and his spine. He will need more treatments and some exercises to build up strength, but I feel confident that this therapy can help him move more comfortably over time!
Copper - chief cookie tester. These homemade gingerbread cookies passed his inspection.  :-)

And on to Sophie... this poor dog is only six and she has a host of medical issues. It is a bit of a heartbreaker situation for sure. She has seizures and is on two different meds to keep that at bay. The meds work so that is good. They do affect her energy level and to top that off, she has also been limping on her front leg for about a year. I’ve had her to the vet, the chiro and a dog physio. None have been able to pinpoint the issue. 
A chicken collar and tootsie roll toy: one of the many perks of having a friend that owns a pet store!

On a whim, I asked the equine body worker if she happened to work on dogs as well. She said that she did, so I added Sophie to the list for treatment. 
Sad face expert

She found some soreness in her hind end and treated it with massage and then cold laser. I’m never sure if some of these therapies work or not, but within 24 hrs, Sophie’s limp was almost gone. Now, this treatment will need to be repeated to help with the pain and I may need to do a xray or something to help identify what might be causing the pain.  An old injury? Hip displaysia?  Hard to say...

It is now 72hrs later and Sophie is still not limping and has more energy than I’ve seen in a few months. I’m hopeful that this type of therapy helps her longer term and I can get my dog back to a more normal state!  

Needless to say, whatever treatments this lady is using have been making visible differences in the horses and the dog, so I'll keep going down this road for now.  

Monday, May 31, 2021

The big move and Rip gets weaned

I'm working on updates...I promise! I have a mountain of cute  foal pics to post, but I have to download and edit those, so I'll be jumping back and forth in time as I attempt to get caught up!

If you remember, my good friend (and Rip's co-owner) sold her farm and bought back her childhood farm.  The only catch with all of that, is that the closing dates for the two properties didn't line up.  She just moved into her new (old) farm three weeks ago, so her horses were at my place all winter.

She owns Spunky, the big halter gelding and Lucy, Rip's Mom.  After some renos were done on her new (old, built by her Dad who passed away a few years ago) barn, my friend was ready to take Spunky, Lucy and Rip home.

Following the trailer to the farm to help unload

I have to say I miss the horses, but don't miss the workload!  Her  gelding Spunky is on stall rest, so he was quite a bit of work.  Good thing he is so handsome though!  He and Rip enjoyed playing a bit when possible. Often, while cleaning stalls, I would let Rip wander around to get used to the barn and be away from his Mom a bit.  

Uncle Spunky playing with Rip.  Ignore the dirty floor - the farrier had just left and I was cleaning stalls!

All three horses trailered well and settled into their new spots.  Well, except Rip.  The poor guy got separated from his Mom that day!  He did settle though and within 72 hours was doing much, much better.

Mmmmoooommmmmmm???? Rip, probably.

I have had a friend helping me work with Rip the past couple of weeks to get him ready for weaning and to be better with having his feet picked up.  He is not a fan of having his feet touched.  He has been trimmed once by the farrier and was due again last week.  (Note: sorry for the blue faces - don't want to post other people here if I can help it). We were able to get his fronts trimmed this time, but there was a lot going on in the barn, so his hinds will get addressed next visit.

Fronts are better than the hinds - making progress though

He was also checked by vet and given his first vaccines.  She also confirmed that he is ready to be gelded, so we booked that for later in June.  Woohoo!  Lol  I'm sure Rip won't feel the same way.
Rip looks slightly concerned

It is cool and a teeny bit sad to see Rip grow up so fast!  I'm super excited to see how he looks as he grows up though, so it is mostly good!

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Treat Yo’self - Farm edition

This is all part of trying to catch up on the past few months! 

We all know buying tack and saddle pads is fun, but buying actual farm equipment is fun too!! Lol

And I have no pictures because I’m still not great at getting pics while I’m doing stuff! And I’m trying this post from my phone and the app lets me see my pics but won’t actually upload them into the post. 🤷‍♀️

Let’s start with the smallest purchase first: a hay fork! Yes, there is a specific pitchfork for hay. It works great for feeding off of round bales or big squares! I actually had no idea this existed until I was cursing about trying to feed hay from a round bale and pulling it apart by hand. I have now been enlightened to the hay fork and will not look back! 

My next purchase was a bit of a whim. My friend and I bought some hay from someone that is selling her farm. While there we used her hay elevator to move the hay from the barn to her hay wagon. My friend and I commented how nice that was and the lady causally mentioned that everything was for sale at this point.

I’ve always wanted a hay wagon to move hay but figured one would be way too expensive. I got a super deal on this wagon and I bought the hay elevator too, as my friend’s new farm has a loft where I will be storing some of my hay for the winter. 

And, I hauled the loaded hay wagon with my truck!! That was the first time I’ve hauled something and it was nerve wracking at first, but I started to get the hang of it. Backing that sucker up is no fun though, let me tell you!!

I feel like those purchases were meant to be - what are the odds that we not only got some hay to tide us over to this years crop AND much needed equipment for a great price?

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Trying to catch up - 2021 goals, etc.

I have been going through the hundreds of pictures I've taken this winter as I'm trying to get my blog caught up.   So far I am noticing a theme to my pictures/videos:

  • pictures of Rip
  • pictures/videos of the cats
  • pictures/videos of the cats sleeping with the dog
  • random attempts at artsy snow pics
  • memes

I found this silly video I took of Archie having a bath. Turn up the volume if you can for his big purr.  Lol.  Clearly I need to get out more!  I am still working from home full-time, with no end to that in sight. 
Vaccination rollouts are going super slow here, so who knows when I'll be able to get my vaccine.  I haven't seen my family since August, which kind of sucks.  I've been trying to figure out some goals for this year, but well, that is proving a bit difficult. Then I get sidetracked by the cats and memes.

So cute.  

In other news, in 2 weeks, my friend is moving back "home" to the farm where she grew up. It is really exciting for her to be going back there.  Her gelding will leave here mid-May once she has her stalls and paddocks set up.    I think Ivy will also be going to live there (reminder: this friend and I co-own Ivy) and Rip's Mom Lucy will also go once the little man is weaned (late May?).

It's tiring being little!

My friend's sister also just bought a horse and that mare will be at my place until sometime in May when she will go to the "farm".  :-).  I'll be helping ride this horse a bit as well, as my friend's sister is a bit rusty and nervous.  I'm really hoping I can trailer Fred over there this summer and the two of us can go for a hack or something.

So, all of this leads me to my 2021 goals. Thanks to anyone that has read this far down. lol

I'm keeping things simple this year, until we see if there will be any shows.

  • Ride Fred and try and keep him sound
  • Keep Copper sound and happy
  • Breed Ivy (first attempt was done mid-April - fingers crossed it worked!)
  • Learn about training a foal (yikes! lol)
  • Help my friend find another broodmare (I think this is done already - more to follow)
  • Help my friend's sister with her new mare
  • Have fun
And that is about the extent of it. Me being me, I have a more detailed document going with goals and accomplishments by quarter, but I'll share that another time.  For now, I'm just going with the flow and we'll see what we can get done!  

Are you guys going for any big goals this year?  Or being like me and taking it easy and rolling with things due to the pandemic?  Is anyone back to normal post-pandemic?

Friday, April 23, 2021

An update on Fred

 Well, this update is long overdue! I meant to write it in January, but here we are.  Lol.  

Fred went to live with an acquaintance of mine that was looking for a horse to work with over the winter. She just bought a little farm with a nice indoor, so it seemed like a good fit.  I took him there Dec 1 and he is due to come home on May 1. I'll be happy to have him him home- I miss the big red goofball!

The goal of sending him was to get him going under saddle.  He wouldn't be getting formal training rides 5-6x a week like you might expect, but just 2-3 sessions.  This lady isn't a trainer per se, but has started a few horses in the past.

I sat on Fred a couple of times this fall and he was having a hard time figuring out the whole "forward" part of working under saddle.  This was resolved pretty quickly at the new barn.  I went to see him in early January to see how he was going.  

Side note: We've been in and out of lockdowns pretty much since Christmas, so I've really limited any trips to do anything. Fred's barn is over an hour away, so not a quick trip.

He was even doing a bit of trot under saddle at my first visit!

Trotting Fred!

By all accounts, he has been super quiet and hasn't offered to buck or spook, even when the snow came zippering off the coverall roof!  The only thing that got him a bit upset was being nipped at and followed by the lady's two heelers.  Lol. 

He tends to just meander along at the trot so far - the lady says that she has been working on adjusting the trot speed a bit, but that he is still pretty green.  Here is a video from Jan 2, so only a month under saddle at this place.  We noticed that he is just a bit NQR in the front and it would get better as she worked him and it wasn't as obvious some days vs others.  

My next visit was in March and he was starting to canter a bit under saddle! Woohoo Fred.  He is a bit clumsy with those long legs of his, so the lady was just working the canter when he felt steady.  

At then end of March/early April, Fred blew two abscesses - one in each back foot... D'oh!

He needed antibiotics for the swelling and both blew out the heel bulb, so they were not pleasant for the poor guy!  He has been starting back with doing a bit of walk work now, so hopefully he is ok moving forward.  He did the abscess thing to me this time last year as well.  

Moving forward, the vet and farrier recommended shoes for him or possibly hoof boots. I'll be measuring him for hoof boots to start, as I would prefer that over shoes to try first.  He seems to get bruised soles in the transition seasons when there is lumpy frozen mud out in the paddock.  He could also stay in more during those times...there are a few options to check.  I also had him tested for PSSM (negative thankfully!) just to rule some things out.    

He enjoyed his bodywork session.  Lol at the pally mare getting in the photo...

I found a great bodyworker and she has worked on him for two sessions so far. I think he'll need more maintenance than an average 6yo horse due to his wacky conformation and his size.  He is at least 16.3hh now, maybe even 17hh!  (Note to self: buy a proper stick!).   I'm really looking forward to having him home and having eyeballs on him more regularly.  The lady did a good job with him, but he isn't her horse, so some things just don't get done the same way I would have.  That is ok - part of the risk/considerations when sending a horse out for training.  

I'm a little apprehensive about riding Fred, since he is so huge.  I'm really short, so I've never really looked at or ridden tall horses. Spencer was 15hh on a good day!  I'm sure I'll get used to it though, as he is really the only rideable horse I have.  (Note to self: buy a new helmet)

And now I'm all caught up with Fred.  More updates on the rest of the herd/life to follow!  

Monday, April 5, 2021

Rip - The first week(ish)

 Ok - more Rip updates are coming!  I'm going back in time here to keep things sort of chronological where I can.

Rip was born on Jan 17 and we were able to see him the same day, at about 3hrs old.  Our next visit was on Jan 21, which put him at 5 days old.  There was certainly a difference in just a few days. It is kind of mind boggling how fast foals grow and develop.

So cute...

Most of my pics are just of him and Mom in the stall at this point. The barn owner did start turning Mom and foal out in the arena for a few minutes a day later that same week.

Eating is good...

He is curious and friendly, but only if Mom is there to hide behind if things get to be too much!

After we were there for a while, he got to be a bit more brave. He would come over for a sniff and let me scratch him all over.  I sort of fell in love that day.  Lol

scritches plz?

And of course, it didn't take long before he needed a nap.  So cute.  The cuteness overload was almost too much to take! Lol. As much as I was ga-ga over the cuteness, this experience has shown me how much work mares and foals are.  I mean, horses are a lot of work - we all know that - but a mare and foal is a bit on a different level, I have discovered these past few weeks. 

Ready for a nap

What a better way to rest with Mom standing guard. Mom's side eye game is next level too.  ;-)

A few days later, the barn owner sent me a video of the two of them out in the arena.  

More to come this week as I get my pictures and video organized!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

I'm still here!

I think I'm currently the world's worst blogger!!! Lol  I didn't meant to take a break, since I've been busy with horse stuff!   Work was super busy over the winter and is just starting to ease up now, so I feel like I can breathe a bit and do some other things!

A few quick updates:

Spring is coming - woohoo!

Rip is fine and growing like a weed! Mom is doing well too.  I have a lot of pictures and video, so will try and get myself organized and post some chronological updates.  I really want to have a record of things with this first (adorable but a bit bitey) foal. 

Mom was enjoying some cookies and Rip can now see over the door!

Fred is fine (mostly) and learning to work under saddle. He has some minor-ish hoof issues that I'll talk about later, once I get myself organized and gets some updates sorted out!  I also have some video of him working under saddle so that is a first that I have some actual media! Lol

Farewell Rip and Spunky (alternate title: What a f**ng awful week)

 I've had another spell of radio silence here.  This time for good reason. On Wednesday, October 20th, I lost Rip to colic.  He had just...