Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wounds, Swellings and Abscesses, Oh my!

It always seems to be that I don't have good luck with keeping horses sound. I do wonder if I'm doing something wrong, but in the latest run of bad luck there hasn't been much I can do. No wonder I have so many horses, I need them to have a singular sound horse to ride.

So the bad luck started with Bill when she had a swollen front leg to go with her big back leg. The back leg is however healing incredibly well. I couldn't be more happy with it. It really is hardly going to scar. Anyway, I dragged her back to the house and cleaned her foreleg in hopes of discovering what the problem was. I went over her sole with a hoof knife and was happy to see that her sole was unmarked, because abscesses have been bad this year I am told by the vet. Eventually I found a tiny puncture wound in the front of her fetlock, that was the apparent cause of her huge leg. So some huge doses of antibiotics for her and an animalintex which was changed for a couple of days and she is looking good. Still a little residual swelling around her fetlock which I'm keeping a close eye on but she is moving soundly and appears to be on the mend.

Next to go down was Kate. Sound on Monday and then dead lame on Wednesday. I tubbed her foot in epsom salts. Incidently the smallest bag I could find of epsom salts was 25kg so I'm good for the next few abscesses no doubt! I was lucky enough that the farrier came out today and had a look at her foot. So her shoe is off, and after much searching and pondering he found a track in the bar of her foot and followed that down to the worldest smallest, but also very deep abscess. Kate is obviously a huge wuss, but at least I got it early. I still have some hope of making my clinic in a weeks time now that I have found the cause of her lameness. She walked away much sounder, after having her foot packed with epsom salts and covered in two nappies, a pink vetwrap and some lovely red tape. My friend who is visiting from England says she thinks Kate is embarrassed by the colour clash but I'm sure Kate finds it invigorating. Fingers crossed it holds for 24 hours in the mud.

Finally Rascal came in on the Wednesday with some swelling on the outside of her leg, but she was sound so I rode her anyway and that reduced the swelling somewhat so I think it's probably just a knock. I am meant to be riding three horses in each of the clinic days so I need for them to all get sound for that. Calving starts soon and so this will be the last clinic I will get to for a while.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Counting down to the season start again.

I feel so much more optimistic about this season than the previous two, so hopefully that feeling will lead to something good. The horses feel good and fit and happy. I may have finally got my saddle issues sorted. I'm still not sure the county is the best fit for Connie, but my goodness that is a comfortable saddle. I love it to ride in and I'm looking forward to jumping in it next weekend at the Showjumping practice day at Tielcey Park. Hopefully this time they have all their lines rideable hey!

Since the clinic I have been working really hard on my flatwork, schooling every time I get the opportunity though this is dependent on ground conditions. Thankfully the ground is soft enough that it's ok. I don't want to sour the horses but seeing as they only really have to do what I want for an hour a day 3 days a week I'm probably ok. Kate especially is starting to figure out what I want and be a lot kinder and softer to ride. I have even had to add spurs! Which she protests about sometimes but if she isn't going to listen thats her problem. They are only roller ball spurs so it's not like they are sharp.

I have been working really hard on Rascal but progress is slow with her. I have realised one thing though, in an epiphany I achieved riding her up from the paddock bareback in a halter, is that she feels like a little wee pony that I am a bit perched on. I don't know why she is a solid 16hh though a little short necked. Kate though is a solid 16.2hh and a huge mover and Connie is much the same. It's better if I ride Rascal first to avoid more direct comparisons because going from Kate to Rascal is like going from a sports car to a little old Honda City. Poor Rascal. Though I'm sure as she gets stronger and stronger that will only improve.

Bills leg had gotten very swollen but has come down again for no real reason. The Vet gave her antibiotics but she didn't really respond to those. I guess it was swelling due to the soft tissue injury. Regardless, she looks really good and I'm tempted to chuck her on the truck and let her have a look around at the practice day. I probably wouldn't ride her but it would be great for her to see everything that her future will entail. Better teach her to load on the truck first :) She hasn't been on since she was a two year old. Ahh grand, I guess if I can get riding her again I might be able to take her along to the clinic at the end of the month and have a ride on her then.

Tomorrow morning it will probably be -5 degrees celcius. So please think of me shivering my butt off milking the cows just on dawn while you Northern Hemisphere dwellers have summer. Brrr! Still at least if it's a frost it will be a nice day and I can get more riding done.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Had a little bit of a jump around today. Nothing over 80cm but it was the first day of my new strategy of jumping only fences with scary fill. This is mostly because I know Kate is a looky loo and I need to learn to cope with that better. With Kate it's mostly about learning to ride her so smoothly so she keeps her canter all the way to the fence, and making sure she adds that stride s she gets right to the base, instead of letting her run and drop a stride out. My word she gave me some funny jumps. Lots of really round ones, where she looked down at the fence between her knees.

By the end of the session she was jumping really nicely and quietly and I was able to just sit quietly and maintain and then give her lots of leg at the base of the fences and the whole thing was a lot more relaxed. Love the new saddle to jump in so much. I'm sure the old saddle not fitting didn't help her jumping. Rascal was having a muley day. She started off ok but she is still so weak. I have so much work to do on her canter it's almost a little daunting. We paid a fair sum of money for her, and to sell her and get that back I really need to get her going more, and that adds some pressure. She just doesn't jump off of her back end very much, she is just throwing herself over the fences, which she didn't used to do a couple of years ago, so I'm going to assume it's a product of the lack of strength. I also need to watch that my body stays tall even when I see the longer spot and ride up some.

Not the sort of picture I would usually put up because she looks crap, but you see all the mud down my pants! And well the good with the bad hey.

Well anyway, we had a plain little gate that Kim put in the angles of a cross bar and Rascal came round and stopped, but then at the last minute jumped and threw me into the air. I landed mostly on the saddle and started to pull her up and try get my balance but then she took off and as I tried even harder to pull her up she did some very small bucks and removed me before I got my balance back. I really did think I was going to be ok and get back into the saddle but it was not to be. Still after that she jumped everything just fine even though I was feeling a bit chicken. Still that is riding, you have to take the downs with the ups. And bruises are cool.

Halfway through the session I changed Rascals bit from a mullen mouth egg butt snaffle to the rubber mullen mouth pelham, because she was just blowing off my half halt. That helped a lot because she couldn't just piss off with me. Still it feels like a step backwards especially when her flatwork is coming on really well. Hopefully I only need to use it a couple of times and then I wont need to again.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


A Kim and Bill lovefest.

I took Bill and Rascal over to Valley View Stables to work on their arena. This is Bills first work session since her injury and she seems very sound on her sore leg and she coped pretty well seeing as it's her first time on a surface and her first time in a new place.

She was most shocked to see that other horses exist in the world, having never been away from the farm before. Kim lunged her while I rode Rascal. Lucky for me Valley View is just across the farm so I ride over and ponied Bill.

Her leg is healing so well!

Rascal was also really good, she is really starting to get there in the walk and trot but her canter is still very weak, especially to the left so it's hillwork tomorrow. Still she is making very definite progress in the right direction.

I can't resist a Cavaletti! Even in a flatwork session

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