October 31, 2014

Hematoma Lancing

Warning: The following videos/photos contain blood and anyone with a queasy stomach may not want to read this post. However, I found it fascinating. Maybe I should have become a vet...

After letting Hugo settle in for the evening, I checked on his swollen rump early the next morning.

Suspected hematoma...not getting any better.
Sure enough the swelling hadn't gone down. I let EB know, and she made an afternoon appointment at the vet. Monday's are good for me for horse emergencies. It is one of the few days that Junior and I don't have a class or pre-school scheduled. EB arrived at the farm about 3:30pm and we loaded up both horses and hauled 15 minutes to the vet's clinic. Yea to avoiding a farm call fee!

Hugo in the stocks getting ready for his procedure. Gentry just chilling!
Luckily the vet was able to accommodate both horses, so we were able to kill two birds with one stone. We got Hugo's rump fixed and both boys got their Flu/Rhino vaccinations and coggins done as well. For his part, Gentry was a saint! He instantly loaded on the trailer (this was my first time hauling him), hauled like a gem, unloaded quietly, stood tied next to Hugo the entire time we were at the vet (literally every stall in the clinic and the other stocks were full), and was great about his shots.

But back to the story...

The instant we pulled Hugo off the trailer the vet tech confirmed that Hugo did indeed have a hematoma. I was stoked that I had correctly self diagnosed (thanks to a good hour on Google and YouTube) what was amiss with his rump. Due to my fascination with the whole ordeal I couldn't help but document it on photo and video.

After the lancing. EB was as equally fascinated as I.
After the lancing was complete, the vet stitched up the sides of the lance and left a drain hole. Hugo is on antibiotics for five days and it should take seven to ten days for the wound to stop dripping and to heal up. In the mean time, we have to keep the drain hole open by picking out the clots that form.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 30, 2014

Mystery Rump Lump

On Sunday morning when we picked up Hugo, EB showed me a rather large lump on Hugo's rump. It wasn't hard, wasn't pitting edema and didn't look like and abscess either. It was a loose liquid filled sac. I had never seen anything like it. Neither had the BO at her old barn. None of us knew what it was.

Hugo was sound though, so it wasn't a muscular tear and although it seemed like something the vet should look at we both figured it could wait until Monday. Unless of course it magically went away overnight. In that case I would sit around my house eating bon bons all day Monday instead of taking a trip the vet. Only time would tell. Either way, the ubiquitous emergency Sunday vet visit was not deemed necessary. I think EB's wallet took a huge sigh of relief. The plan was to check it first thing in the morning and decide what to do about it then.

Mystery lump
After spending some time on Google and YouTube, my best guess was that it was a big hematoma. Are you curious to see if I was right? Stay tuned...

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 29, 2014

A Buddy At Last

Now that our pasture fencing is up and running, it was time to move Hugo to the farm. On Sunday morning we headed over to EB's barn and picked up the big bay boy. He loaded like a charm and we headed home.

Not knowing how Gentry would react when we arrived with a new horse, I locked him up in the dry-lot before we left. That would allow us to unload Hugo without commotion and attempt to control the introduction. Regardless of my over planning, I wasn't worried about them getting along. They both have such easy going and nice personalities.

Once Hugo was unloaded I went to the dry-lot to get Gentry. At this point Gentry was still clueless that there was a horse present. He was too busy sunning himself behind the barn. That or he was pouting, upset that I locked in in the dry-lot away from his new found freedom and all the pasture grass.

I grabbed Gentry's halter and headed to the back of the barn. At this point he finally noticed Hugo, and the joy of life seemed to return to him. Despite being excited, he minded his manners and was easy to lead out to the big pasture. We had them stand about fifty feet apart and simultaneously took off their halters.

It was love at first sight. Not a squeal. Not a kick. Not a bite. They were instant buddies and did not leave each other's sight the entire evening. In fact, at 10:30pm I did my final night check on them. By the light of my flashlight I found them both curled up sleeping next to each other out in the pasture. It melted my heart!


Chilling in the dry-lot

Dinner Time

Attached at the hip

Best kitchen window view ever!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 28, 2014

Freedom To Roam!

We finally finished and charged up our pasture fencing this past Saturday!

Behold the happy pony...

Track heading to the main pasture.

Out on the main pasture. He found a good spot to roll!

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 

October 23, 2014

Can't Move Legs!

All dressed up...with places to go!
I have been on a riding roll as of late. I think I rode Gentry five times in the last week! I haven't had this much fun in a LONG time. I forgot how much I LOVE cantering up big hills. I am just trying to take as much advantage of this unusually glorious October weather we are having as possible.

In addition, I am finally organizing my tack room. I was able to find my half pad and Rose's old dressage boots. I decided to put the boots on Gentry to see how they fit and to see if he'd ever had boots on before.

His answer was NOPE. Then he looked panicked, dejected, and was unable to determine if he could possibly still walk. I laughed. Sorry, but I did. It was rather hilarious to observe. Then I made him walk around a bit before I realized that his current state of not wanting to walk was the perfect opportunity to take photos of him!

Help! It won't come off. It is eating my leg!
Clearly, Gentry had never had hind boots on before. The front boots didn't bother him at all, but he kept picking up his hind feet really high and walking like a drunk sailor in Amsterdam's red light district. It was seriously hilarious. For my own safety I took the hind boots off before our ride.

To get him desensitized to them, I plan on putting them on him for an hour a day, every day, in turnout until he gets used to them. Only then will we ride with them on. Normally, I would just longe my horse with boots on to get used to them, once I drove to whatever barn I was boarding at. However, since I now have the utter convenience of walking 100 feet to my barn at any given time, I am going the lazy turnout conditioning route. I do love having my horse at home. It rocks is so many ways!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 21, 2014

Trail-ish Ride

Whew. This weekend was fun and tiring. MSU had their home IHSA show this weekend, and although I no longer coach the team I try and volunteer when I can. I got up both Saturday and Sunday, before dawn at 5:30am, and schooled 5-6 horses each morning. I couldn't stay and help more though due to planned out of town visitors, who became non-visitors because Hubs came down with the stomach flu that Junior had the previous weekend. Out of town visitors are here now though, and hubs had fully recovered, thank goodness.

At any rate, I was feeling like a badass when I got home at 8:30am Saturday morning and the weather was absolutely perfect. Seriously, it was THE PERFECT FALL DAY. I couldn't not ride Gentry. After checking on Hubs and Junior, I headed down to our barn and tacked up the boy.  I decided to ride him in our big field and canter him up the hills. At this point I haven't actually cantered while riding him, only on the longeline, since the first time when I tried him at his old home. This has mostly due to lack of space and sloping condition of the small paddock that I have been doing most of my riding in.

Like I said, I was feeling like a badass, so cantering in a big open field it was! We both had a great time. I realized that his left lead is going to take a bit of work, but I was able to get him to pick it up. Just something to work on. After a nice half hour ride in the big pasture I decided to be more of a badass and rode him down our gravel road, out of sight of our house, and all the way down to our mailboxes. We passed some neighbor's horses on the way. He looked at them with some renewed energy and interest, but didn't call out or act stupid excited. Once we got to the mailboxes, I decided to have a bit of fun and have him stand next to them while I opened ours. He was great about it. Sadly I had no mail, despite my upcoming birthday on Monday. Gentry seemed unperturbed by the lack of mail and was equally great on our return ride home.
On the road again...
Next time, I need to muster a bit more courage to turn down the road and ride him past all of the red angus cattle that have been moved to the pasture across from our neighborhood arena. Once we've tackled that hurdle, then I can finally start riding him on level ground!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 15, 2014

Training - What exactly are we doing?

I haven't posted much about where Gentry's training is at or what I am doing with him. Mostly that is for two reasons:

  1. I have been spending a lot of time working on fencing, leaving little time for riding. 
  2. I am purposefully taking things slowly with him and just getting to know him.

With Rose, I was in a rush. A rush to get in the show ring and prove to myself that I could do this whole horse starting thing. Part of me felt that I had to do that to justify the cost of boarding a showhorse. I am not in a rush this time around, nor do I have a board payment anymore. In hindsight, I realize that I had put too much pressure on myself and Rose. All I am expecting of Gentry at this stage is steering, stopping, and all around good behavior in the saddle and on the ground.

That doesn't mean we aren't working on things though. What I am focusing on in terms of his training at the moment is balance and rhythm. Like most babies, he speeds up and slows down because he doesn't quite know what to do with his body while a rider is on his back. There is only one way to get past that; time in the saddle, a balanced seat, and a soft steady hand.

It is working!

A few minutes into each of our rides Gentry softens and relaxes. He becomes quiet with the bit (stops the nervous baby munching) and he lets out several relaxing exhales. Each ride, we seem to reach this stage a little sooner and the bit munching has subsided tremendously. No flash needed!

So that is what we are working on at all three gates. Balance, rhythm and relaxation. This is my current training focus/goal for now and probably the rest of the winter. Given upcoming weather conditions, and lack of an indoor arena, I probably won't worry about progressing to the next step or getting him over a jump until spring.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 11, 2014

Conformation Baseline

Conformation; October 5th, 2014

This is not the best photo ever due to wet coat, poor background, sun angle, and lack of helper. However, just incase I don't end up getting a conformation photo before Gentry turns into a complete fuzz ball I thought that this would be better than nothing. I am really curious/excited to see how he develops with consistent work over the next year.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 10, 2014

Sanity; It's Something I'm Getting Used To

Last weekend we worked on our fencing project a lot. Hopefully it will be done sooner than later, but at least now I feel like we are mostly there. One aspect of working on the fencing involves using our skid steer bucket to move all the heavy wire and tools around. Gentry had heard Hubs fire it up in the barn and came to investigate. Hubs turned it off before Gentry's arrival, but then he lingered. It soon became time to turn the skid steer back on and I told Hubs to just fire it up with Gentry still standing there. I wanted to see how he'd react, figuring worst case he'd just turn heel and run.

"Doth it containeth treats?"

Gentry just stood there looking at it, and us. He has such a great chill brain, I cannot get over it. For the first time in years, I might be able to enjoy the 4th of July without worry about potential vet bills!

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 

October 8, 2014

2pointer Challenge

I have decided to partake in L.William's 2pointer challenge this year. My baseline is 3m24s. I am not disappointed in that number, but not stoked either. I am not disappointed because I don't even know the last time I was in two-point and I haven't been riding regularly, so hey, I got my butt out of the saddle. Also, Gentry didn't care about me being out of the saddle at all, so that was good too.

From my two-point. View of my grass riding field, and future arena.

I am not stoked though, because the reason I didn't go longer had nothing to do with balance or muscle fatigue. My right ankle got pissed off and gave out. I used to have ankle issues when I was in college and jumping a lot. I would even have to ride with my ankle wrapped. Those days have long ago passed, and I thought that my ankle was solid these days, until yesterday. The joys of aging. Meh.

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 

October 7, 2014

Shiny Pretty Things...

Or a clean horse at least!

I finally managed to give G-Love a bath this weekend. I was worried that the beautiful weather we were promised would not materialize, so when it was partially sunny and about 60 degrees with no wind, I got the job done (of course it has been in the 70's both yesterday and today, doh).

Post Bath, all dry
Gentry was very good about it, although he was clearly not pleased with our very cold well water. I took it easy on him and did not wash his loin area or head. Someday I hope to add a small water heater to the barn. In order to get that though, I am pretty sure I will have to launch a full on political campaign to convince Hubs that horses need warm water baths. He's not yet convinced that it is a "necessity".

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

October 2, 2014

Come on weather...

I need one more nice day of sunny warm weather! I know I live in Montana, and in reality, it is stupid of me to hope for a warm sunny day in October. But I REALLY need to give G-Love a bath. I have hosed sweat off of him a couple of times since owning him, but I haven't had time to give him a good bath when the weather has been nice (read...no one else was around on said nice days to watch Junior while I could give him a bath or I had to do that money making work stuff during that time). It is supposed to get warmish this weekend. Somewhere between 60-70 degrees. PLEASE weather Gods, give me one more sunny day before winter stays here for good. Fingers crossed!

On another note...perhaps it is time I go shopping for my winter wardrobe. ie. swap out my summer stuff for all my winter stuff in storage. Yea instant shopping spree. But, NOT until my horse gets a bath!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


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