Sunday, November 20, 2011

Don't put that hoof in a bucket and other adventures

Smokey and I have had some nice rides. I admit to doing more training than envelope pushing. We've been working on clearing up all the fuzzy areas and hitting the local trails with my friends.

I also did some research on YouTube and determined that I don't have shoulder control - in that I can't do a turn on the haunches. So we're working on that and the side pass. As Stephanie noted Smokey will cross his front legs, then his back legs, then his front legs, maybe twice, then catches up with a hind quarter move.

It's a mess, and gives us a series of things to clean up. What I'd really like to do is send Smokey to a trainer for finishing since I'm sure it'd would be easier on everyone. But given my budget, we'll have to muddle through.

Thank goodness for YouTube. We might actually accomplish something.

Sierra and I went riding on Friday. I'd pulled her out of school for the day due to some school drama (ironic, given the news we'd get later in the day). She rode Cody since Lily is still on injured reserve.

Here's Smokey in the bosal. It moves around a good bit, which is not what it's supposed to do. I'm not sure if I'll continue using this one. Today I begged, pleaded, and just annoyed Stephanie into riding. Cibolo had a bucking incident and she wasn't sure she wanted to ride at all. But he got a visit from the horse dentist (who also did a shoulder adjustment) and it seemed to do the trick - his attitude improved and he was as calm as could be on the trail.

Smokey and I had warmed up in the arena - I wish I had a longer place to run him in. We really need to haul some place. Hopefully soon.

Anyway, I rode him in a riding halter and he did pretty well, although it took more energy from me to keep him in the proper place. I'd ridden him the day before in the bit and I'm convinced he doesn't like it. I'm going to try a few different things - all of which are there in the barn. The mechanical hackmore is not an option in my mind. The bosal is close, but it doesn't fit right and I haven't a clue how to properly shape it. Plus it feels more muddy than the side pull. I'm going to try a couple of barn bits to see if a different shape will matter, and then order a nutural.

We also worked on our mole face. Cute, right?

(No horses were spooked during the above photo session. Good boy, Smokey)


Lily Update, aka Don't put that hoof in a bucket ever again....

Lily is much, much better, but when the horse dentist checked her over she found warmth in her right front hoof. She mentioned that often with Pigeon Fever a horse will founder.

She showed me how to feel for heat, something I've never felt before. It was so mild I would have missed it. She recommended soaking the hoof, just in a frisbee or something like that.

Of course we don't have any frisbees, but we have buckets.

Do I even need to finish this story?

Okay, only because you INSIST.

There we were at the wash rack. I was cold hosing her now healing abscess wound in prep for cleaning it off. I lifted her hoof and put it in the bucket. She attempted to remove her foot from the bucket.

It was one of those big buckets. She succeeded in dragging it.

Not good.

Lily commenced to panic. She pulled back so hard she snapped her halter and bent the heck out of the carabiner. She nearly sat on her tail but managed to avoid running over me or Stephanie.

She got her foot out of the bucket. This was only somewhat comforting as it was clear this was a DANGEROUS PLACE TO PUT YOUR HOOVES.

After some reassurance we were able to get her back in position, sans bucket, and finish cleaning out her wound.

Then I went to her paddock, splashed water out of the trough to make a nice muddy spot in front of her hay (which the horse dentist suggested as a Plan B to the frisbee).

The nice thing? She trusted me enough to come down from her panic and stay in the same area.

And I now have learned the value of a good Plan B.

No buckets were broken during this life lesson, which is good, because I think it was one of the bucket the BO won at her last endurance race.


Mighty Hearts.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. The news is still settling inside me like a little boat approaching a storm. The swells rise and fall, nothing completely scary yet, with every rise you can see the clouds a bit more, the froth on the sea ahead.

I'm still hoping for a nice steady wind to redirect the storm so we can head to shore safely. I still imagine us steering clear, then sitting around the tree this holiday season, relieved that we have dodged another bullet.

I've decided to begin posting news on Sierra on Crib Notes (with a note here when I do), but not for the reasons you might think. As I was driving back from the barn today I realized that many of our family members will be keeping up with things and I find it's very tough/painful to restate these explanations over and over. Facebook isn't really an option because Sierra is on it more than I am, and I don't want her constantly confronted with updates.

Anyway, given that my family has little interest in my horse life (hard to believe I'm the ONLY horse nerd. So much for DNA), and since they might want to subscribe, I think this approach will work a little better for them, but by noting on here when there's an update I can keep you in the loop too...

I'll be starting each related post here with "Mighty Hearts" and will probably link over there from the Mighty Heart page, just FYI.

Here's to quiet seas, quiet horses, and quiet rides, my friends.


Leah Fry said...

I feel like I'm the only person who has never heard of Pigeon Fever. Yours is the second I've read about this weekend.

Prayers for you and your daughter.

And I'm all about quiet, lovely times with a horse. It's good for the soul.

Grey Horse Matters said...

You'll get there with Smokey. Everything just takes time. Lily was good to come to you after her panic attack, that shows how much she trusts you. What usually works for us is a low rubber feed bucket, the sides aren't as high as a water bucket (if that's what you were using). Good luck with her feet.

Not exactly sure what's going on with your daughter but I'm sure it will work out. If only we could speed up time and have these crisis times behind us.

Dan and Betty said...

Nice pictures. Horses never seem to understand that we are doing something good for them - like putting their foot in a bucket.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I love all the photos in this post. You and Sierra looks so relaxed and happy.
Sounds like you've been busy with horse related things, too. The bucket fiasco sounds similar to Apache's Boot Terror. It's scary when you're in a small space with a terrified horse. I'm glad no one was injured. It's great when a horse trusts you enough to come back to you when they finally find their brain again.

It's wonderful that you were able to spend some fun horsie time with Sierra. I hope the holidays are a time of peace and joy for you and your family.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh, and I just read Arlene's comment. Good advice about low sided feed bucket. That's what I used last year when I treated Apache for some supposed thrush. She had no issue with soaking her feet in that 4" high dish, and it's flexible rubber, too, so if a horse does freak, the bucket won't get stuck on their feet.


Anonymous said...

I've never used a bosal but may want to try one on Pie. There are a couple of videos on uTube about how to shape one - that might solve your fit problem.

Sending best wishes to all of you.

Anonymous said...

I've never used a bosal but may want to try one on Pie. There are a couple of videos on uTube about how to shape one - that might solve your fit problem.

Sending best wishes to all of you.

trump said...

I'm visiting new blogs today for the first time, so i also thought id wish you a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your readers. And i hope that the day is spent generating positive memories for years to come. Richard from Amish Stories.

Morning Bray Farm said...

Hoping the same for you. You look wonderful, by the way!

We too just had the unpleasure of feeling a warm hoof for the first time on Saturday morning... we think Bernard has a hoof abscess, so we've been wrapping the foot in a newborn diaper with epsom salts and duck tape. Hopefully we'll get the farrier out soon... just waiting for a call back...

BIG hugs to you.. Have a Happy, Happy Thanksgiving. xo

Grey Horse Matters said...

Just stopping by to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

Jan said...

Breathe, That is such a beautiful photo of you and Smokey!!
Glad to hear you are making progress, in your own time, with Smokey. It takes time. And what a story about Lily and the bucket. Yes, having a plan b is always good with a horse (smile).

So very sorry to hear about Sierra and her possible surgery. My prayers and thoughts are with you. If she has to have the surgery, I hope it goes well and her recovery is speedy, and she can go on with a long, healthy life knowing her heart is finally fixed.

Achieve1dream said...

I'm glad you're going to update on the Cribs blog. I just read through it because I knew nothing about it and your kids are ADORABLE. Those little memories are so special. If I ever get the guts to have one (a kid) I'm totally blogging about it lol.

If you order a Nurtural please let us know what you think of it! I'm considering it for Chrome when he's older :)

After what happened with Lily and the bucket I'm thinking maybe hoof soaking is something I should work on with Chrome lol. It never even crossed my mind. I'm glad the abscess is healing up and I'll keep my fingers crossed she doesn't founder.

Sending more prayers for your daughter and family (and Lily!).

Margaret said...

Isn't it amazing how quickly a near disaster comes and goes... we had one with Oberon's leather bridle getting caught on the water spiket. I can't imagine what would have happened if it had been his rope halter... he had panicked and backed without releasing to the pressure... he got away because the leather stretched.

... needless to say, we have been working on his being tied and releasing to pressure when afraid.