Friday, September 19, 2014

Towel Throwing

I might be tossing some down on the ground soon when it comes to this barefoot experiment. Towels, that is.

(picture-less post, so bear with me. *grumble grumble*)

most of you *may* know that Yankee was having issues keeping shoes on since we relocated to Ohio. My farrier & I were attempting to combot his contracted heel issue by flaring out the shoes, rolling the toes and gradually shortening toe length. Yankee had other ideas though and constantly ripped the shoes off. NO amount of bell-booting would combat the frequency of his lost shoe game. So we decided to pull them and hope we could re-grow some hoof wall before attempting to put shoes back on.

I was very gung -ho (but worried) and committed to staying on the barefoot path, even when faced with the common problems of transitioning a horse to being foot naked. I was prepared. I had asked questions, told myself it had to get a bit rough before it could get better and that this was for the better...maybe. Hopefully.

That was until Yankee went off his feed a few days ago.

He's been pretty tenderfooted for the majority of the last 3 weeks since we pulled the shoes. Been sound maybe 4 of those days. I thought it would be okay to ride on those days, but then he would go lame again and I would feel like THE worst horse mom on the planet.

I was aggressive with his pain management too. I kept him in at night, cleaned his stall 3 times a day (keepin' it dry), gave him extra bedding, religiously used hoof stuffs, etc etc. I kept him off the bute because I was afraid he would start to feel really good, mask true pain and only aggravate his feet worse by romping about.

Even with all the extra time I spent trying to keep his pain level low, he consistently could barely walk around. It was so horrible for me to watch.

I started to notice Yankee literally acting depressed on Monday. He would only shuffle around his stall and barely move in turnout. He started to not clean up his hay. Refused to come out of his stall. When I tried to ride  he was so choppy and short strided I hopped off after 10 minutes because I felt guilty for even asking him to try. He looked so defeated and upset with himself. I couldn't bear it.

Then on Tuesday he didn't finish his dinner. I thought it was odd, but he seemed fine other than his feet, so just wrote it off as a fluke.

Until he didn't finish Wed breakfast. Or Dinner. Or yesterday's meals.

OF COURSE I thought of everything, panicked, examined, etc; but the rest of him looked shiny, fat and healthy. It was just his face that conveyed pain. I could tell he was hurting bad.

His refusals to go outside and immobility only worsened throughout the week. I was deeply concerned. This couldn't be normal.

I started a "diaper boot" regime, with salve and diapers to help pad his feet. It seemed to relieve a little pain, but I still contacted my farrier with my concerns. I also put his feed bucket on the wall so he didn't have to eat off the ground, and stole Bacardi's hay net for him.

So here we are on Friday.

He still didn't clean up his grain this AM, so I administered some bute and left him in. He shuffled his sorry floppy-eared ass to the corner of the stall and refused to look at me (very un Yankee-like), so I figured he just wanted to stay in.

I am really concerned about him and his problematic tootsies and I'm beginning to think this was a huge mistake.

Perhaps some horses really can't go barefoot no matter how much you want them to. I know its ONLY been 3 weeks, but this is an extreme reaction. I've seen footsoreness, and then there's THIS.

Still debating what to do with my farrier, but that's the update for now.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fatty Phat Fatties

Tiny, yet annoying/maddening/sad update on the pones and their ailments. I hopped on both today for a jiff just to analyze said ongoing possible minor or major issues. Prognosis: still not sure.

Bacardi was a WILD FUCKING CHILD and would. not. simmer. down. I've never had a ride like that on him. In fact, I just blogged the other day about how chill he usually is; eating my words right meow. At first I took it as a positive sign that he was feeling good, but then I just got irritated at the ensuing shenanigans. Along with getting eaten alive by mosquitos, I could only handle about 15 minutes of his childish fuckery. Think, jigging, head tossing and outright friviloty. Should've known when he refused to be caught in the field. Still debating if these are all signs of pain, or him just trying to avoid doing things in every horsey way he knows how. I think I'm overanalyzing, but can you be too careful when dealing with lameness?? Not sure.

Anyways, he was only slightly, barely, mildly off today. I almost blamed it on the muddy footing because he felt pretty good despite the insanity, but my worrisome horse mommy-ness refuses to let it go. Leaving me to believe his lameness was a result of pasture fuckery and not anything else. I will try again Friday!

Yankee was pretty obvious in his front hoof pain. Unwillingness to move forward with any energy at all. I don't know why I am surprised considering the weekend activities and the deep mud we have. I'm still keeping up with the terpentine, but I'm too poor ATM to afford boots. My farrier already wants to slap shoes on him again and I'm like, isn't that being hasty and a little counterproductive to what we are trying to accomplish??

That being said, I took their confo shots this weekend as well. I've been keeping up with Bacardi religiously but didn't even think to include Yankee in on it. I did this time though!

Months 1, 3 & 4
Month 1-month 4

All I have to say is you can definitely tell they are eating like Kings, holy hell.

I have never seen Yankee that deliciously fat since I've owned him. I'm not even mad about it. And B has made leaps and bounds in the grocery department.

For comparison:

5 years ago, 8 yrs old

That fat belly literally makes his back look shorter in comparison. Thats crazy to me. Granted he's lost some muscle tone in the ass, making the hunters bump more prominent but I still think he's very smexy. Such fat. Many dapples. And that does what it wants. I have NEVER made it try to stand up like that.

Bacardi too has made some incredible improvements, but not as noticeable as from month 1 to month 3 unless you really study the pics. He's still gaining weight, but has definitely plateaued a bit. I think he will always be ribby sadly. Unless he follows the Yankee plan and becomes less of princess and is super fat after reaching double digits.

His muscle too, is changing, even in a months time. His neck is thicker still, and his haunches filling in ever so slowly. His haunches loss definition (look at the line in month 3 compared to 4) but IMO is still filling out. The difference in his neck too, from 1-4 blows me away. Little pencil neck to hulk. The biggest change I see though is his muscling in his withers/topline. They're ACTUALLY filling in. Didn't know that was possible. Maybe one day we can get dat ass to twerk, but I'm pretty gucci with a topline for now.

I'm glad all that money invested in feed stuffs is going SOMEwhere at least.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We Are All Mad Here

Last week, equestrian wise, was extremely unproductive. I did a lot of grown people things, like commute, work in my adorable cubicle prison, joined a gym (I'm now a douchey crossfitter), did things, and made a huge pot of chili. Did not ride once. Mostly due to the weather, half due to Yankee being footsore, and the other half just plain laziness/extreme sleepiness.
In addition, I have been battling it out with Blogger and this is as good as its gonna get for now. I THINK the problem is you can't copy and paste. If you do, it gives the words a lovely white aura, or won't show up at all.
 I've been systematically screaming and pulling my hair out after switching templates, fussing with code, retyping on a different computer and switching browsers.

Wence the weekend came, I planned to ride all 3 days but the ponies had different ideas. All of them were absolutely, 100%, clinically insane. I wish their brains had literally fallen out of their skulls because then they would have been medically excused from the fuckery. Lilly was way off base from her normal chill self. Bacardi, I’m pretty sure was faking extreme lameness, and Yankee forgot how be an adult horse.
I attempted to ride the thoroughbreds Saturday. Attempted being the key word.

 Bacardi was looking exceptional, and I was excited to finally do work with him after 6 days off. Normal warm-up routine, walking around for 10 min, stretching, changing directions. I asked for the trot and instantly felt him feel just ever so off. It went away when I changed direction so I shrugged it off.  Hadn’t been worked in a while and it was chilly out. Then I changed direction again. Yep. There was the mysterious, 3 legged lameness. 

Even The Boy could tell he was off. Where though, was the QOD. I had him video to help pinpoint mystery lameness, but to no avail. After watching the video over and over I honestly could not pinpoint ANYTHING. Palpated all lower extremities, ass and back. Nothing. Wasn’t lame to the left, or the walk. WTF Bacardi.
No issues to the left in particular
So what does any white girl do? Take a poll on social media. I hit up the insta world asking if anyone could pinpoint the issue after watching a short 15 sec clip.. Most agreed with me that while it initially seemed like LF, when he switched directions it was obviously RH or hip hitch.

Conclusion, not sure. But I have a feeling he was being a motherfaker about it all because I definitely saw him frolicking in the pasture yesterday. Complete with galloping, vivacious trotting and massive bucking leaps.
At least he makes pretty pictures
Yankee was not much better than the last time I rode him, either. If anything he just stayed steady on his nonsensical route to making me hate him. Last time he forgot how to canter, and trot and be normal in every way. Saturday was essentially the same, just with more sideways fuckery and head tossing. I don’t even. After fighting with him for over 15 minutes I gave up when we got a clean and mostly relaxed walk to trot transition. Ridiculous. Yankee, YOU ARE ALMOST A TEENAGER.
Basically pulling my arms out
I feel like the horses are plotting against my eventual mental breakdown by trading off playing lame and acting a fool.

Switching gears and trying to forget that insanity we planned to ride Sunday. The Boy and I headed out to trail ride again since the weather was a wonderful combination of sunny and chilly.

The day started off with a bang and with a mild heart palpation. When we loaded up, Lilly followed The Boy through the escape door of the trailer. Mind you, that is for HUMANS, and not equids. I still don’t understand WHY she followed him and HOW she didn’t get mangled. She has one small cut on her ankle, but that’s it. 

I don’t think I will recover from watching her hulk/fall her way through that small door and thinking, “Well, my boyfriend is gonna die because this horse, that ISNT MINE is going to squash him and I’m going to have to call his mom and tell her her son died by horse and call her owner and tell him that his horse bled to death falling out of a trailer and murdering someone. Cool”.

That was a bit intense & uncalled for.
It did not end there though. Lilly had a stick up her ass the whole day and spent most of the time trying to bolt, or falling over. Apparently rebelling against me and the direction I wanted her to go was more compelling than staying upright and on all four feet. She would lock her neck and jaw and refuse to go where I asked and would then sideways run the complete opposite direction and then fall, literally fall, into the thorny scrub brush. Generally regarding mud and water patches; where before she would lackadaisically amble through mud and water. It was really fun for me.

Luckily, Yankee was an angel with The Boy and I had no worries in that department. Complete opposite from last Sunday (Yankee was a jerk and Lilly was perfect).  Its like they switched personalities. The Boy even half galloped up a really steep hill with The Pants and seemed to enjoy it! Minus Lilly being an asshole, it WAS a really fine day out, and I always enjoy rides, no matter how rude the horses are.

And at least they make for an adorable couple, especially if their humans are wearing matching plaid.
So here I am, on Tuesday night, exhausted already from the weeks activities (Will I ever adjust. How do people do this in real life. Are you all robots.), having not ridden AGAIN since Sunday, wondering if my horse(s) will be sound and unbroken tomorrow.
I might have a sliver of time before the sun goes to bed to ride one of the two and I am dying to know if B's lameness was a fluke from a pasture romp or back soreness due to all the long an low stuff.
(Sorry if some of the words are missing in various places, blogger ate them because it hates me)
Stay tuned.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Seriously Why

Blogger has gone mad.

I typed a huge long post, complete with GIFs and pics, about my weekend and the words won't even show up. They're just big white bars (like a text box, but full of nothing). Before that (last week), I had to write in code. I also cant see my side bars (blogroll, pics, web links, etc) and I dont know if anyone else can either.


If anyone knows, it would be really helpful because I am sure you all miss my ridiculous and informative ramblings.