Friday, September 5, 2014

10 Things

Because I don't really have any riding news, besides 2 hack rides squeezed in before the fading daylight and after brutally long days at real person job, I figured I would hop on the informal blogging train again!

Before I answer the 10 questions though I wanted to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who put so much effort into answering my SOS! Every single answer was so helpful and I feel confident Yankee and I can get over this minor bump in the road! Gracias gracias!

You may also have noticed some weirdness in my blog if you visit me on a computer...yeah, at some point during my last blogpost I fucked something up mysteriously and my entire right hand side is now below my posts, my font is messed up and I have to write these posts with fucking code!! Its a bitch and I am not happy. I have no idea how to change it back because I am clueless to how it even happened. #UGH

Without further ado though, my answers!

1. Is your horse spooky or bombproof?
Bacardi is really dumb and spooks violently at dumb things, like corn, or sounds. But could give give a fuck less if a chicken flaps madly around him. Yankee is about 95% bombproof...rarely spooks and when he does he just stops dead and stares. My preferred method of spooking.

2. Does your horse have a long or short stride?
Yankee is short in stature and stride. Bacardi is huge in all aspects.

3. Describe your current barn in 3 words?
Private, tiny, ratchet

4. If you could switch barns, would you?
Yes and No. Yes, because I LOVE facilities at boarding barns because anything is better than my ancient setup. I have no arena, my stalls are old chicken coops converted into horse stalls, bad wiring, etc etc. No, because I like controlling every aspect of my horses' care..that way I know whats going in their mouth, if their stalls actually get cleaned, etc etc...BUT its cheaper...
What it boils down to is that I need a barn fairy to come build me a spanking new barn so I can have nice things and be a control freak.

5. Favorite brand of breeches?
Kerrits all the way. If I wasn't poor I think I could really get into the Fits game.

6. How many blue ribbons do you have? (Red if you live in Canada or Britain).
I have no freaking clue. Probably over a 100 blues alone. I did a TON of rodeo and 4-H as well as hunters, jumpers, dressage and eventing...for over 10 years. NO idea. They live in a box under my bed. I really need to make them into a quilt or something. I have 10 "special" ribbons though, and they aren't all blues! One of my favs is an 8th place from a USEA event with Yankee. First time he had ever actually placed! I was so proud!

7. How many saddle pads do you own?
Jesus Christ how does a tack whore even keep track?? I just keep finding pads. They're everywhere. In every crevice of my barn, trailer, attic, garage...I literally think I have 50. I have a pad and bit problem okay, don't judge me!! I have about 10 "main schooling" pads I use though and rotate depending on dirt level and if I'm taking pics or not. My fav is a black USDF championship pad, and a thin jump pad with red, white and blue piping #merica.

The black pad

8. Is your horse your phone background/lock screen?
Yes! They're my lock screen. Luke The Boy is my home screen. I need my boys on the cellie always.

The meese & Levi
9. Do you go trail riding often? (weather permitting)?
Weekly. Its so beneficial and fun! Switches it up from constant drilling and the hills are great. Also I am really lazy and you can ride trails in non-riding clothes/less tack. And can you say, galloping paths?

10. Favorite horsey movie?
Seabiscuit by a landslide. Can I just say War Horse is the butthole of all horse movies, close second is Secretariat.

These are fun! More!?

Perhaps answering some burning questions (on your blog) I have will tickle your fancy? C'mon, everyone's doing it! (I gave short answers but I demand more from y'all)

1. If your horse was a person, who would they be? (you can generalize personality if you can't think of someone).
For example: Yankee would be Perez Hilton [snarky, flaming gay celeb blogger]. Bacardi would be a hypochondriac.)
2. What is one (or two...or five) piece(s) of equipment you CANNOT live without.
(crib collar, bell boots)
3. When did you start riding/ what discipline?  
(7 years old, Hunters)
4. Do you have a barn dog? If so, what breed?
(Levi! Blue Heeler aka Shadow Dog)
5. Do you like doing stalls or nah?
(yes. see above control freakishness)
6. What treat(s) does your horse go nuts over?
(Yankee is obsessed with mints, but will literally eat anything. He REALLY likes beer. B will only eat apple flavored shit from TSC)
7. If you've switched disciplines, why? If not, also why.
 (Um because eventing is badass and hunters wasn't for me.)
8. What is your least favorite discipline and why (yeah, I aint afraid to be scandalous)? 
(Western pleasure: peanut rollers)

9. Who is currently your favorite rider? 
(Famous people: William Fox Pitt, Hannah Sue or Doug Payne. Non-famous, my old BO...she's a boss ass bitch. Over 80 years old and still rides PSG everyday. The O'Conners will forever be my favorite though #PowerCouple)

10. What is your BIGGEST pet peeve regarding horses?
(Hard to determine...probably draw reins or the word "headset" or people making assumptions. I also hate when non-horse people call ALL foals "colts". Wrong wrong wrong wrong.)

So there we have it! Maybe something to spark your blogging if you're not doing much riding wise or need materials!

Much love.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

SOS: Barefoot Toes

One of my favorite things about the blogging world is the access we all have to each other! Our experiences, tips, advice, knowledge & stories! I learn something new almost everyday reading, and discover new horsey blogs weekly. Its a wonderful little-big network!

This is mildly redundant, considering my last post. But a lot of you commented with advice and I wanted to formally reach out and ask for it! (Note: I NEVER dislike unsolicited advice and am always welcome to ideas and thoughts! Unless you're rude about then BAI)

If you read my last post (posted Tuesday) then you are aware that I am mildly losing my shit over the fact that my farrier and I co-decided the best option to fix Yankee's fucked up feet was to pull shoes. temporary for now, unless he improves and then we will keep him bare until show season.

Thats a BIG "if".

In the past, his feet have aggressively self destructed sans shoes. He can't go without them, but now he seemingly can't go with them either. But, over the years, repeated intrusion of nail holes and the ever slow contraction of his heels have basically created the worst pair of "healthy" feet out there. 

Meaning, he can't hold a shoe, but he is NOT lame.

My question to you all has many parts.

1) Anyone out there with equally as shitty OTTB feet to manage? How did you?
2) If recently barefoot, how did you manage the transition? Boots? Salves? Supplements?
1a) if you picked boots, PLEASE explain how
-where purchased
-HOW SIZING WORKS (so clueless I can't even)
1b) salves? 
-what kind/usage?
1c) Supplements?
-what kind
What my farrier gave me as our managed care plan (oh god, using Medicare terminology) was a bottle of turpentine, and his phone number. Basically said good luck, call me if he goes lame and we will tack shoes back on and hope his feet don't disintegrate.
What *I* would prefer is that this POA actually works and his feet grow back healthy and we can go about using shoes during show season, and go barefoot all winter. Thinking long-term here.
So I'm kind of flying blind here. Never gone from a horse who NEEDS shoes, to going barefoot as a treatment option.
**apologies for went wonky halfway through and I am no code writing genius

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rx; Shoes Forever?

Can't live with em', can't live without em'.

Especially if you are a thoroughbred named Yankee Wonder. Forever a battle with my problem child.

From day one we had issues keeping shoes on his pretty shitty horse toes. Thrown shoe after thrown shoes after thrown shoe. Sometimes I imagined him as a dainty gay unicorn running through the pastures going "FUCK YOU SHOES BAI" and flicking his toes around, trying to make me hate him. The situation steadily improved as he got older and with the move to MO (change in farriers/change in turnout??) I was able to keep shoes on for the majority of his existence.

Then we moved back to OH.

I haven't been able to keep a shoe on him for more than 2 weeks at a time. His RF is absolutely shitwrecked at this point, having tossed the shoe 6 times in 3 months. Half the time I would find them in his stall sheared clean off with the nails still in his foot. HOW. His LH and RH also magically, mysteriously and spectacularly threw shoes 3 times. Making the grand total in the 13 weeks we've been back NINE FUCKING TIMES. Keep in mind its $20 to nail a shoe back on. Every. Damn. Time.

Once, he tossed his RF twice in one week.

I was beginning to wonder whose fault it was....Yankee's, Ohio pasture or my farrier. lord knows he was making half his profit from me.

I still don't know, but after the last time Yankee jacked his RF up beyond salvation and we ended up yanking his shoes for the next 6 weeks.

I almost had a mini panic attack with the farrier about this decision.

The one time we pulled his shoes was when we first brought him home- his feet crumbled like sugar in water and he was lame for 3 months. That  shitshow took almost 2 years to recover from. We tried again 2 years ago and after 11 days he was lame as a one footed duck. Rx; SHOES FOREVER.

....Unless you can't keep them on and now you're back to square one, 8 years later. We weighed the pros and cons and decided that besides acrylic (aka $$$) the best option was to go barefoot, hope the softer fall ground pads his feet and see if he can regrow some hoof wall. Huge huge huge huge did I say HUGE, risk, considering his past success barefoot.

In addition, if he does well, we will keep him bare all winter and hope we can get his SEVERELY contracted feet to spread out a bit. His heels are...just the worst. In general his feet are just the worst in every way possible besides the fact they aren't rotting from the inside out.

This looks 10x better than before the trim too...

Deep clefts, soft walls, cracks, long/sloping and contracted heels should make my horse dead lame all the time but he's done well with shoes up until this point. Minus his horrible bouts with thrush every spring that wreak havoc on our lives, I am always mildly impressed that my typical horsebeast's OTTB feet don't create more problems than they do. Started him on a new hoof supplement 6 months ago, & you can see the newest  growth from the coronet down to the red arrows.. I'm not 100% sure if thats good growth or bad, but it looks thicker than the lower part of his hoof.

To say I'm anxious about this decision is a massive understatement. I might lay awake at night fretting about the soundness of my baby and if he will be gucci enough to be ridden in the next 6 weeks with no shoes on his toes. The other half of me is like,

Show season isn't happening for us, so I am chalking 2014 up to a loss along with 2011-13. Womp womp.

Luckily, my farrier is on call for me and the first instance we think this is a bad idea, he will come put the acrylic shoes on and Yankee will have all winter to recoup.


Both the meese getting their pedicures
 In addition to THAT horse, Bacardi has been increasingly getting more footsore in the front. Of course. When it initially started 3 weeks ago I thought it was from our trail ride, but he only got worse riding in the back field. The biggest change I noticed was in his trot...went from lofty and massive to short and choppy. I guess tufts of grass and hard ground make my delicate OTTB fall apart.

Luckily, his feet are dimes. Cuppy, big, and hard as rocks. He's been barefoot since he came off the track and I really wanted to keep him that way, but alas. As with Yankee, farrier and I debated and think that shoes are the best right now in order to keep in training with the facilities we have available to me right now. If he gets better, then that was the problem and thats the solution. If not, back to the drawing board.

It was HILARIOUS to watch B getting his shoes. He kept staring at his feet while farrier nailed the shoes on with a very quizzical and concerend look. Afterwards, he stood spread eagle and picked each foot up and just held it there, holding them up like,

I didn't even know horses had that kind of thought process, but I swear, that's what his brain was doing.

Trying to put all my worry aside on this particular incident and compartmentalize my anxiety about starting my adult job/commute tomorrow & all the issues that go along with that. I can't even explain the level of worry about not being able to ride everyday. Its like, I need a job to ride, but can't ride with a job. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

A separate issue will be keeping the baby hydrated while I'm slaving away at work. I will be gone from 7 am to 6 pm ALWAYS and they will no longer get lunch hay or water checks. Bacardi not only drinks an epic amount per day (3-4 buckets easily), he is also is a hay vacuum. I've never seen a horse his size slam down 3 flakes faster than he can. To remedy the situation at first I was goign to hang three buckets, but that was too much work. I opted for a muck tub full of water.

 Bacardi gets ALL THE WATER. I also put his hay in a slow feed net. Might slow him from mach5 to about 40 miles an hour, but its better than giving him it on the floor and him being hungry for 8 hours out of the day in stead of 11.

I might end up hiring the neighbor girl to give them lunch hay because I hate think about empty horse tummies.

So I solved that tiny problem, for now, hopefully.

I shall now retreat to my bed to curl up in fear about the future and all the drastic life changes.