Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Someone please post something.

I am rewriting that damn seminar paper. (The role of courts of equity today in Tennessee - did you know the Chancellor can totally give punitive damages? Pretty trippy, if you understand those terms at all, and if you don't understand them you really don't want to.)

Anyway, it is obvious that I am rewriting that damn paper, because the clothes are all washed, the floor is vaccuumed, the catbox is clean, I made my wrist hurt from playing too much computer jigsaw, and I'm contemplating sewing up a hole in a sock. I am also completely caught up on any blogs that interest me. So this is a plea to the internet - please, someone, post something. Otherwise I will have to go back to reading cases with lines like this: "The cause was heard by the Chancellor on the original bill, as amended, the answer of the defendant, and exhibits, on a motion of the defendant to dissolve the injunction. The Chancellor sustained the motion, dissolved the injunction and dismissed the bill."

Monday, April 28, 2008


De-fleaed the house pets today. Capstar all around, then Advantage Multi on the cats and
Promeris on the dog. Since the Advantage kills heartworm larvae too and I try to keep everybody on the same schedule, I went ahead and gave Cersei her heartworm pill too.

The damn fleas came from the damn (poor deceased) kittens. Grumble. I tried Frontline on everybody last week but these are those horrid Frontline-resistant fleas.

The end is in sight!

Ok, I've taken three finals and I have one more, plus a paper to edit and turn in, and then I'll be DONE FOREVER with law school. (Unless I failed a class and have to take summer school, oh god please no pleasepleaseplease...)

I'm aiming to get my paper finished and emailed in tomorrow. Then Wednesday I'll learn Family Law, Thursday I take the last exam, Friday I move the horses and Graham comes to town, and Sunday I graduate. The funny thing? I'm really not looking forward to moving the horses. I'm going to miss them. Going to feed has been the one constant in my life for almost two years. They'll be having the times of their lives, in a lovely pasture full of grass. They aren't really far away, as these things go - an hour isn't a big deal. But it's not something I can do every day.

And they're all going to Como. Today Jody told me (in front of witnesses!) that I can take Quinn with the others. I almost cried, I was so shocked and overjoyed. I still owe money on her and I didn't think Jody would want me taking her to another state... but she's gonna let me. I'm giving the papers (which aren't in my name yet anyway) back along with a signed agreement, and I get to take her!

It's definitely best for the horse. I was so sad about having to leave Quinn in Memphis, because she's just now really becoming part of the herd. If she stayed in Memphis, she'd be on the outside of Jen's herd for a couple of months, then have to leave them and come back to me and learn to get along with my hateful bunch again.

Surely tomorrow I'll remember to take pics. Quinn's bay flank spots are like 50% roan - she's a gorgeous mare. And Poppy's big and black, Champ's fugly, and Silky is old but elegant.

I took Fugly and Cersei for a short ride today. The horses are fighting off a nasty upper respiratory thing that's ripping through the barn, so I didn't go far or fast. Mainly we'd wander 50 yards, then graze, then wander, then graze. I let Champ canter on the way back, just a bit, just because cantering on a sunny day in a green field is like flying.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh, sweet internet, how I missed you!

Yep, it took the Apple store a *week* to fix my computer. I'm not mad at them - they were shorthanded - but I sure did miss the internet. With no TV and no books (the books are in storage, and the computer doubles as a TV), it was a very long week. I mean, I needed to study - and I did - but there wasn't anything to do in that winding-down period at night.

The kittens died sometime Wednesday night. I'd been giving them antibiotics, and it really looked like they were starting to improve. They were actually playing a little before I went to sleep that night! But they must've crashed that night because they were dead in the morning.

They were really sick. And really small for their age. I keep thinking if I'd taken them sooner they might have made it. But I didn't really want to pull them off their mom and hand-raise them. I keep telling myself that I can't save them all.

In less morbid news, I've arranged to have Champ, Silky, and Poppy hauled down to Como on the 1st. I don't want to pay a dime more in stall rent than I have to. I can't take Quinn til I finish paying for her, but hopefully she'll only have to stay in Frayser for another month. Jen is going to take care of her for me.

The new (crazy) barn owner decided Sunday that Cersei can't come to the barn off-leash anymore, so I'm just not taking her to the barn anymore. It really sucks that she can't play with Sam and burn off all that energy, but it would suck worse to bring her out there and tell her she couldn't play with him.

Wanda's Belgian keeps beating up the other horses in the big pasture. Somebody, presumably him, cornered Jen's 2 year old TWH and beat the snot out of her. Wanda was told that she couldn't turn the Belgian out with the other horses anymore. Today she told Jen that one of the kids told her that it was actually Poppy and Champ who beat up the little TWH - through the fence, magically. Maybe they did, I don't actually know. I doubt it.

All I know is that I'm counting the days til I can leave that place behind.

Sorry for the grim post! I'm off to watch the new Dr. Who episode.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monthly update

Sunday I thought perhaps there was a flea on me. Oh god, do I hate fleas. So yesterday I gave Cersei her heartguard, plus flea treatment. (The kind in the tube that goes between her shoulder blades; I forget the brand.) And I gave Curtis the last tube of cat flea treatment - apparently I only had one left! But hopefully any fleas on Jerome will go exploring to Curtis or Cersei and die a horrible death.

Also I'm a sucker and I had to rescue two kittens. One of the young black cats at the barn had three kittens last month - a grey, a grey-and-white, and a black. They were hanging in there pretty well - small, with raging URIs, but stubbornly alive. All the women at the barn took turns taking them into the roundhouse, cleaning them up, feeding them a little wet food, and taking them back out to momma. But yesterday the grey died. I think he succumbed to the URI - he was just dead in the hall, no obvious trauma. So I took the two survivors home. They're just fighting so hard to stay alive, and I can't just watch them die. Momma is very very thin and I don't think she's got any milk left for them, and they're too small to scrap for cheap dry food with the rest of the big ones.

They are possibly FeLV+ so they're in quarantine. In a dog crate, actually - it's usually Cersei's toy box. Every day I go pick up all the toys and chewies and throw them in the crate, then vacuum, and Cersei goes in and picks out which toys she wants to play with. Well, I evicted the toys, laid down a towel, a sweatshirt for snuggling in, a piepan of litter, and a little dish of dry food soaked in water. I've got some antibiotics left from when Curtis was sick so I'm dosing each kitten with 1/4 of a Curtis-sized dose.

Nobody has the money to take them to the vet. Nobody actually even wants them, but... they're fighters. They want to live. I'm just trying to give them a shot. If they make it - and I'm more hopeful today than I was last night - I'll see if the AC lady will speuter them and take them to my uncle's barn in Como. They'll catch some of his mice and he'll feed them, and it's not a great life but it's better than what they've got now.

I don't know how old they are. Their eyes opened about 7-10 days ago. They've got canines and their incisors are trying to come through. But they're TINY - I can hold both in one hand. They've figured out how to eat, and they're figuring out how to use the bathroom.

Last night they ate a bit then squalled til I took them out of the crate and stuck them on my lap under a blanket, then they slept under that blanket all night. I wasn't sure if they'd make it overnight, but this morning they seemed perkier. They were eating when I left.

Curtis and Jerome are reacting pretty well. Curtis is kinda "what the fuck" and Jerome is just fascinated. Neither is poofy-tail howling, so that's good.

After I handle the kittens, I wash my hands. And empty dishes that come out of their crate
go straight into the dishwasher. C & J have had all their shots, including the FeLV vaccine, so I think the risk to my cats is low. The vaccine's not 100% but if I keep up the precautions I'm taking right now, it should work out.

Also my laptop is in the shop :( My Macbook Pro had a fan start to die so I took it in to the Mac Store. The extended warranty just paid for itself - it's major surgery to replace the fan. But they're getting me a new keyboard too - I'll have a left arrow key again, YAY! 48-72 hours before I get my laptop back :(

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Horsie heaven and FHOTD fodder

Went down this morning to see my uncle's place in Como. He is giving my three horses a 40 acre field, with plenty of good grass, some trees, a cow pond, and good cow fencing. They are going to horse heaven. I made that high pitched girlie "squeeee" noise most of the way back to Memphis.

I was sitting in the roundhouse this afternoon with a buncha fellow boarders, talking about pets. (One of the barn cats just had kittens; cute little buggers but I hope the AC lady gets the other cats fixed soon.) One of the other boarders said:

"At one time I had 29 cats and 19 dogs in the house."

We all kinda boggled at her.

"The damn things just kept breeding!"

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Champ the playa

When I went out to hay my guys this afternoon, I gave everybody the once-over eyeballing. I noticed Quinn had some weird dirt ruffles on her flanks - she's a mostly white horse with a thick underlayment of dust, so anything that disurbs her fur leaves dirt marks on her. I petted her briefly to make sure she wasn't cut or bruised, then went back to putting out hay. Dumped everybody's hay, played with Cersei for a while, and as I went to leave I noticed Champ had white fuzz stuck to the insides of his front legs. I looked at the white fur and realized in about two seconds that he'd been hittin' it with Quinn.

I've always suspected that he's proud-cut because he is so possessive of Silky. He gets really agitated if I take her away from him for any reason, pacing the fence and hollering, and when I put her back out with him he runs up and smells her all over, like he's making sure she wasn't out dallying with another stud.

Honestly, I suspect that most geldings are, to some extent, proud cut. In the spring when the mares come into season really strongly, lots of otherwise "normal" geldings are seen gettin' it on. I think the mares tease the normally uninterested geldings into givin them a little lovin. And really, as long as Champ isn't making a spectacle of himself or mounting other people's mares, that's fine with me.

I didn't get to do anything fun with the horses today. Thursday Cersei chewed through the stereo wiring in my truck - she ate the ipod cable and the speaker cable for the subwoofer. Last year when I installed the stereo, I'd meant to hide those cables under the floorboard somehow but I never got around to it. Sigh. Well, today I got to solder all the wires together and hide them under the floorboard like I should've done orginally. The subwoofer wire wasn't hard, just two strands of twisted copper and one separate ground wire. The ipod cable - ugh. One thick black cable with an inner sheathing of woven wire, a layer of paper insulation, and 12 separate very small colored wires. Two of the small wires were actually double wires.

I got all the inner wires soldered and wrapped and plugged it in for a test-drive, and the ipod would play for 20-30 seconds at a time and then the display would say "error-1" and quit. If I unplugged it and plugged it back in, it'd play.

Got mad and went to a local car stereo place to buy a new cable. The (really nice!) owner said he didn't deal in Alpine, but he could probably order one. Then he unwrapped a few of my soldered wires and checked them. He said I did a good job (yaaa!). He thought about it for a minute, then suggested that the woven wire sheathing might actually be the ground wire - try running a separate ground connected to the sheathing. He gave me a length of wire and off I went.

More soldering, more wrapping, and one more test - and it worked! It's as good as new - I can play, pause, skip tracks, skip playlists, everything! I'm so very happy. I fixed something, all by myself, and I did it right.

I cut a slit in the floorboard cover and ran the wires under it, too. I haven't figured out how I'm going to close the slit. Probably duct tape, ghetto as that will look.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

More weirdness.

So this morning I parked my truck, noted the ghetto sled w/Earnhardt plate, went in to class and posted the previous entry. After class I told my friend about the car. He's also about to graduate law school, and he's a Christian rocker / band manager. He's got ear spacers, and his main crisis right now is having to take them out and look "normal." Anyway, I described the ghetto sled and he said, mysteriously, "Nascar fans are everywhere."

Maybe he watches race cars go around in circles on TV. Who woulda thought.

Anyway (Yes, I say that all the time and I probably should've named the blog "Anyway..."), my friend was telling me a story about her horse from years ago. He was "being ridden into mud that came up to his belly and he got stuck. I'm not sure how they got him out, but he hasn't been a huge fan of mud since." That reminded me of another Weird Redneck Story.

Jessica (I'd call her J, but I've got too many other J's in my Redneck Chronicles already, and I'm not organized enough to think up individual nicknames and keep track of them) had seven horses. One of them was a *really* fucked up padded stud, Power.* I mean, she'd jacked with his feet so bad that he couldn't walk normally much less gait. His rear pasterns would buckle with every fourth stride. I'm serious, he was constantly stumbling on his back legs. Before I started boarding, in the summer of '06 or '07, she took Power on a trail ride. In his pads.

You can't take a padded horse trail riding. You just CANNOT. If your padded horse walks through the mud there is a very real chance that he'll get stuck, and if he gets stuck and tries to pull his legs out he might YANK THE HOOF CAPSULE OFF. Padded classes at local horse shows are cancelled if the arena's at all wet, because this has happened too often.

Jessica went trail riding on her padded stud anyway. Just to prove that he's tougher than we think (1st alternate runner-up name: "Tougher than we think"), Power did not pull his hooves off in the mud. He sank instead. Power sank up to his stomach in some mud near the soybean field. Jessica jumped off before she sank with him and waited for him to yank himself out of the mud, then got back on and rode home. She hasn't, afaik, taken Power on a trail ride since then. Of course, she hardly rides him because he's a real dick of a stallion and she can't really handle him, but that's par for the course.

*Jessica, as far as I know, never deliberately hurt her horses. He was one of those "clean" padded horses, not a sored one. But she always got the cheapest padded farrier she could find, and she hardly ever rode Power. When she did, it was a full on cheap english saddle, gojo-on-the-legs, chains-on-all-fours SHOW. The cheap farriers kept doing weird things to his hoof angles and he ended up really high-heeled in the rear. I think. It's pretty hard to look at a padded horse and evaluate the hoof angles; they're all such slipper-toed Frankensteins in the front that it's hard to look at the rear feet objectively. Anyway - either from the (atypical) chains on the back legs or from the weird angles on the back hooves, Power gaited worse than any TWH I've ever seen, and he stumbled all the time. When he wasn't stumbling, he was hollering at other horses or trying to rear. Poor crazy stud.

I know my attitude toward other peoples' horses seems cold. I had to accept, really early on, that I could not save all the horses I saw. It's a hard moral choice, and I still wither on the inside when I see "mistreated" horses, but I cannot save them. It's like... if you really loved cats and really thought declawing was inhumane, but your friends were all getting cats and kittens and having them declawed. Do you alienate everybody around you by ranting about how declawing is evil? You can't rescue all those cats. Your friends cut their cats' toes off, yet they're taking adequate care of the cats - aren't the friends' cats better off than the scrawny disease-ridden stray cats you see? Yeah, I know people who sore their gaited horses. I know people who "just" pad their gaited horses. But those horses are adequately provided for, and they're not sold to the killers for $200. I save what I can save (Silky, Quinn) and I try to lead by example, and that's all I can do.

PS My two cats have forty evil claws of doom.

Memphis is so weird.

There's a ghetto Crown Vic in the parking lot - two tone, 22" chrome rims, and a Dale Earnhardt license plate. The mind boggles.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Too many, too much?

I'm broke. Money is *so* tight right now. I'm so broke that if I thought it was going to go on like this I'd sell at least two of my horses. But the thing is, it's not going to go on like this. In less than a month I'll have graduated law school. (Now that's a scary thought - both for the exams that are coming up, and the thought of me as an almost-lawyer!) Anyway, it's a bit of an ethical quandary. Or at least a thought exercise in ethics!

Every horse hoarder you see on FHOTD has thought "I can take better care of my horses than anybody else." Hell, every responsible horse owner has thought the same. (Or maybe that's just me, because I'm surrounded by crazies who feed bread to their horses?) The point is that we all think we're doing the right thing, and sometimes we're not.

I honestly think I'm still ok. Still have to make my April stall rent, but I'm getting there. And the end is in sight, it really is. One more month of stall rent on four horses and hay for four horses, then I'm moving the three dark ones to Como for the summer. They'll have acres of grass to play on, and I'll visit them a couple of times a week. The spotted one stays in Frayser, where Jen will feed her (hay and grain only, no bread thank you) and I'll come up on the weekends and ride her.

Speaking of the spotted one... Yesterday I went out to brush some more winter fuzz off of the beasties. They were playing musical hay piles, so I actually got to brush whichever horse I wanted to brush. (If there's no food to distract him, Poppy will follow me around and beg to be brushed. He's such a hedonist - food, scritches, food, scritches.) I brushed Champ for a long time, then tried to brush Quinn.

I always try to brush her at liberty when I'm brushing the rest of them - I walk up and she's sort of excited but nervous to see me. I touch her neck, then gently swipe her a few times with the brush, then she gets nervous and backs away. I always let her go, because it's not a big deal. If she's not enjoying it, I'm not enjoying it.

So yesterday I brushed Champ, then tried to brush Quinn and she moved away. I went and brushed Silky for a long time, then Poppy for a bit. Quinn was so busy staring at me that she was barely eating. Ears forward, wouldn't stop looking at me, but couldn't come over because I was too near another horse. I went back to her and scritched the crest of her neck, then slowly started brushing her. She dropped her nose and started eating hay again, so I kept brushing! All over! Her shoulders, her back, her flanks, her butt! It was a big breakthrough for us. She's never let me brush anything except her neck and shoulders at liberty. We made a blizzard of white hair.

I need to take new pictures of everybody. Quinn's roaning out a lot. She's mostly white, but the bay parts are very typically roan. Chocolate colored head and chest, some white in her shoulder spots, 50% white on her flank spots. Poppy is a giant black monster. Silky looks great for her age, and Champ is, of course, ribby. (I suspect he is ribby just to piss me off.)

Silky still hates Quinn, and Champ is accepting but ambivalent. But Poppy has decided to be her friend! Last week I turned everybody out in the big pasture. Champ and Silky went off together, and Poppy stuck with Quinn. Buck the proud-cut Icelandic gelding (whose nickname rhymes with "buck") came sniffing up to Quinn, who was in heat. POPPY ALMOST KICKED BUCK IN THE HEAD! I'm so proud! XD If only he were faster...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Bread Mania

For some reason, a lot of people at my barn have started feeding their horses stale bread. I don't mean "feeding" as in "treating," either; I mean these people are feeding multiple bags of stale wonder bread to their horses. It's pretty surreal. I keep noticing pickups half-full of bags of bread.

It's all Roger's fault (or Roger's brilliant idea, depending on what you think of bread). He swears he's been feeding his horses bread for years. It started with Roger, then spread to the big redneck family. I think the barn mgr is dabbling in bread, and I know the woman who works for Animal Control feeds bread. Memphis has a Wonder Bread factory, so we have a lot of Wonder Bread outlet stores where they sell almost-expired bread. I think they're getting the expired bread from the outlet stores.

I am not at all sure that bread is a good horse feed. It sounds like a good recipe for choke to me. It also sounds like one of those things you'd read about in an article about seized horses - "27 horses stood in filthy pens, with no water and no hay. They appeared to be clinging to life by eating stale white bread."

My barn is a weird place.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Floods, part one zillion

tl;dr: Water still very high.

Long version:
The water at the chain-link fence has reached the top. The driveway I see on my way up to the barn is now officially six feet under.

Saturday James and I went out to see what we could see. All we could see was water - we crossed the road, went by the football stadium and up the soybean field, and just let the horses graze. The last 50' or so of the bean field is under water. The trail leading to the dead-fish lake is under water. The woods at the end of the field - the entire forest - is underwater! A pair of mallards were quite annoyed at our presence, and a lot of big fish were sploshing around in the field.

We found a "lay" of some kind right near the water. The foot-high grass was smashed down in a couple of irregular oval depressions. Our top three theories: deer, coyotes, or ducks. Personally, I'm leaning towards deer. I've seen deer lays, and they're pretty similar. Deer in the daytime tend to lay up in open fields. But the lay we were looking at was really near the water, and some of the depressions were fairly small. Maybe a couple of does with fauns?

We talked a little about the impact these floods have had on the local ecosystem - of course, we didn't say things like "impact" and "ecosystem," cause we're pretty country. :) We were wondering where the deer are hiding now, and what's happened to all the snake eggs, and what about the squirrels and chipmunks? We're eagerly waiting for the flooding to recede so we can see what's changed.

The NOAA says the MS is still not through flooding - the water should go up another foot in the Big River over the next couple of days. That means the Loosahatchie will stay full, and the creeks feeding it will stay overfull, and the fields will stay flooded, and DAMMIT I probably can't ride anywhere cool next weekend. Grump.

Update: The NOAA says the Loosahatchie at Arlington (about 10 miles upstream) is totally through flooding - 2' below normal now. Maybe the water will recede? Researching floods is totally new to me.

Shamelessly stolen from Daun

Daun at The Eventing Percheron recently put up a really well-thought-out post regarding Brego's ancestry: The Eventing Percheron: The Brego Identity. I thought I'd share what I know about Poppy's background.

I've had Poppy since February '07. I think I sweet-talked my husband into buying him as a Valentine's Day present. I'm not entirely sure why I wanted him. I'd thought Poppy was a big beautiful sweetie since I first saw him, back in 06 before I even owned my own horse. I'd done well with Champ and Silky, and I wanted to try (pick your favorite word) breaking / training a green horse. And I had the stupid forlorn hope that my husband would one day ride him. Well, two outta three ain't bad!

I got him from the barn manager, who was going through one of her biannual "oh fuck this I have too many horses I'm going to sell some!" crises. The manager, J, had owned Poppy since he was a weanling - 6 or 7 months old, and as big as a small Quarter Horse. J's a big woman who decided that she wanted a horse she wouldn't feel like she was squashing. Unfortunately, she's also scared of heights - and Poppy just kept growing. She kept him long after she realized she'd never ride him, because she didn't want him ending up pulling a carriage.* I bought him on the condition that as long as I board out there, I will never sell him to anyone but her - a verbal buyback clause. (We're rednecks, and we don't tend to write stuff down. Nobody has the money to hire a lawyer to sue for enforcement, anyway. Except me, I suppose.)

Anyway, J purchased young Poppy from a lady who'd rescued two pregnant PMU Percherons from Canada. After the lady got her two Percherons and turned them out with her five QHs and watched two drafts become four drafts, she realized she didn't have the pasture for all of them. So she sold Poppy to J. The first owner is the one who named Poppy, and nobody has a good explanation for his name. But it's very him. Sometimes I call him Big Boo, but Poppy is much more dignified.

So Poppy is technically a grade horse. But he's very drafty. His head, nose to ears, is probably a yard long. His feet are like dinner plates. His legs are still very narrow, like a hitch-type draft, but his torso's finally starting to fill out. I suppose he could be a Perch x draft, but he's sure not a Perch x light horse. And like Brego - he's black, with a star, not much feathering, and that's pretty damn Percheron-y. Calling Poppy a Percheron is like calling my double-coated otter-tailed water-loving yellow retriever a Labrador.

*Re: carriages. There's nothing wrong, per se, with having a horse earn his own living. And certainly nothing wrong with having a draft pull something to earn his bale of hay a day! But the Memphis carriage horses are heartbreaking. They're started young, worked hard, shod with metal and those goofy rubber shoes that do nothing to ease the concussion, and then sold to bleeding-heart fools or the meat market when they break down at 10-15. There's a new lady at the barn, a slightly insane "furbaby" type, who bought a lovely red roan Belgian from the carriage people. He's 11, with such bad navicular that he can't be ridden on anything harder than dirt. He's ELEVEN. A draft should, with luck, still be working happily til he's at least 20. And *that* is why I just cannot bring myself to sell Poppy. I'd love for him to go to someone like Daun, but odds are, he'd end up downtown.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

She *is* a show horse!

My very own Eagle Eyes Miss Dixie was at the GCHS last year. (Halfway down the page, class 272 SSH Open Shod.) That's kind of trippy.

Of course, 4th out of 4 isn't really a testament to her stunning natural gait or anything.

I dug her pedigree out of my files. On her dam's side, she doesn't go back to any "famous" gaited horse names (a 5th generation Black Sun daughter, woo!) but on her sire's side she's a granddaughter of The Pusher, a great-granddaughter of Delight of Pride, and a great-great of Mack K's Handshaker. I looked up her famous ancestors on Walker's West, but it depresses me to see all those padded, probably sored baby horses being ridden too hard. And wtf is with the gaited show horse seat? Why are all those guys ... craning their necks forward? Here, look at the '86 or the '87 WGC. Gaited show horse riders all - down to my crappy little local level - tend to ride hunched over with their heads craned forward. I'm not sure what the point is, or why they all seem to stare at their hands. My hands generally do what my brain tells them to do, regardless of whether or not I'm watching them. But that's just me, and I'm obviously not a show rider. :rolleyes:

Floods, part five

It rained for a while this morning. More rain tomorrow, yuck. Anyway, the fence by the driveway is still "shrinking" - a couple inches more are underwater. I'd say there's about a foot of fence still showing over the HUGE LAKE.

Poppy did not get trimmed today. He has lost all his manners. I worked with him a long time, though - stand nicely in the crossties, pick up your feet a lot, some round pen work, and a lot of walking around nicely. I'm just going to have to work with him every single day til I can get those feet trimmed. (Yes, I say that all the time about all the horses. Yes, I have too many. Can't just get rid of them though.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A good person... but not what I'd do.

This is a good person. She (I think it's a she?) has rescued two starving horses and is bringing them back to health. I'm not flaming her at all - but I don't think I'd go about it in the same way. Of course, what I would do if I were in her shoes is all based on what I've read on The Internet!, and we all know that Truth flows from The Internet!

First, she had the vet come out the day after she got the horse. That's good. But the vet floated teeth and gave shots the same day? And the vet said not to feed the horse any hay? Is that right? I'm pretty sure that no hay is a great way to colic a horse - but it's senior feed, maybe that makes a difference. But shots, possible sedation, and floating? No way.

Second, she got the mare's feet done. That's good. The front right before and after pics look good (although I'd love to see solar views and side views too). But I really don't like the way her trimmer did the back right. I've read (on The Internet!) some horror stories about thinning the walls too far up, and the basic reasoning for why that's a bad thing makes sense to me.

Basically, the only reason to rasp the flaring off the walls that high up on the hoof capsule is to make the hoof look good for the owner or trimmer. The only part of the hoof that the trimmer can affect* is the part that touches the ground - if you put a good mustang roll on that back hoof, and kept the roll up to date, the huge ugly flare would grow out on its own. And weakening the entire hoof capsule by thinning that flare isn't a good thing, and can possibly lead to bad things.

That's all just my opinion, of course. I'm really glad that person cares enough to rescue those horses, and I hope her dream of starting a rescue works out.

*Of course the trim, in a sense, affects the whole hoof. But what I mean - a good trim on an overgrown or distorted hoof isn't going to magically fix the entire capsule. It's going to give the capsule a chance to grow back in correctly. The part of the hoof that we see is the past, and there's not much we can do to change the past.

Invisible floods, part four

So the MS has crested, I think, but it's not obvious. The Loosahatchie and Wolf are still going up.

I went to the feed store today, and as always I checked the views of the river from the highway. The spot where the horses were almost swimming two weeks ago? Yeah, they'd be swimming now. There are some signs on the dirt road, something to do with the pipeline running under the road - they're orange, maybe 7' tall, spaced every quarter mile or so, with mile markers on top. I couldn't see any of them. There's at least 7' of water on top of our little dirt road a half mile from the river!

On my way to the barn is a flooded driveway near the Wolf. The driveway runs down a little hill then back up another hill, and it's been flooded in the low spot for a couple weeks now. A 6' chain link fence runs alongside the driveway. Sunday I noticed that the water was halfway up the fence. Today, there can't be more than 18" of chain link still sticking up out of the water. It's just amazing.

A fearless and searching inventory

I was going to trim Poppy today, but he'd been standing in the mud all day and ... well, I wussed out. Stuck him in a stall to dry out overnight and started packing a little of my tack.

I've had horses for a year and a half. Somehow I've accumulated eight bits, four bridles, five sets of reins, two saddles (down from four a couple weeks ago), three saddle blankets, one draft-sized turnout blanket (came with Poppy), five halters, three 50 gallon feed bins, four hoses totaling about 135', three sawhorses, two saddle racks, two blanket racks, a mini-fridge, countless brushes and combs and patent medicines and first aid stuff... Sigh.

On top of the equine junk, I have a bunch of tools too. A nice 6' fiberglass ladder, cheap skill saw, hammer, tape, square, pry bar, screwdrivers, pliers, clamps, corded drill, cordless drill, 75' of extension cords, nails, screws, bolts, hinges, latches, wire, rope, etc.

I got the hoses and spare ropes packed in an empty grain bin, and the headgear (bridles, spare halters, reins, bits) packed in a tupperware tub. I sold two saddles in the last week and I'm giving the fridge to a friend. (That's just the barn fridge, I have another minifridge in storage.) I'll start hauling stuff to my dad's barn this weekend. He doesn't mind keeping my junk out of the weather til I get settled again.

I really don't know what to do with the draft sized turnout blanket. It's not something I'll ever need to use on Poppy, but it's not going to fit any other horse at the barn. Well, there's a Belgian there now too, but his owner is completely fucking insane and I'm not going to give her the blanket. I might just throw it away, much as it pains me. It may be apparent that I'm a wee tiny bit of a packrat :O