Posts Tagged ‘vets’

Rain Is Everywhere!

Today’s Tip: Look for the silver lining in all circumstances. This rain will thaw the frost and bring spring growth. It will. It has to.

Photo by michaelaw

It’s actually only been raining since early this morning, but I am thoroughly sick of it! It was wet already with all the melting rain and too much frost in the ground for it to sink in. Some have said that this rain is good as it will warm the ground and allow all the moisture to be absorbed by the now-frozen soil. At 34*, I doubt it will get very far very fast.

Signs that we’ve had too much rain:

In trying to clean up the barn this morning, I swept up all the horse hair and loose hay chaff from the aisle. Once the aisle was all nice and clean, though wet, I could see it: water was actually flowing into the barn. It was raining rather heavily at that time, and I noticed that it did let up once the rain did. However, it was a little disheartening the that the pull of gravity and the river below was strong enough to cause water to actually flow through a building.

The vet came today. While I was sure he’d have good rubber boots on, I felt guilty making him trudge through over-the-ankle mud to get into the barn. I went out to find some pieces of plywood and laid them down so there was some relief from the gate to the barn door. It wasn’t pretty, but it did cut down on the splashing.

The horses came in last night. It wasn’t raining then, but it was cold (30’s) and quite windy with a forecast for rain during the night. I heard rain and thunder in the early morning hours. It had let up by the time I went out for the morning feeding, so they went out while I cleaned their stalls. It was still cold and windy and the rain had started back up when I finished, so back in they came. While I was cleaning up the hail started. It was only little ice pellets, nothing dangerous, but yet another joy to add to the list.

It wasn’t raining when the vet left, but Pretty had been sedated to have her teeth floated, so I didn’t want her out or to put the others out and risk having her upset when she still wasn’t steady on her feet. An hour later I put them out only  until the rain started yet another hour later. They may be in for a whole day more and two nights – tonight and tomorrow. Then I get to put three frisky equines out into knee-deep mud…like that’s not asking for a leg injury.

And then. The cherry on top. Not an hour ago I heard a sound that sounded like the dog scratching an itch. Only she was sitting right next to me, sound asleep. I went into the kitchen. It was a drip. A drip from the ceiling near the old chimney. There had been a leak there years before we bought the house, but it had been fixed. According to the inspector, it was adequately fixed. This is not what I felt like dealing with tomorrow.

On a drier note – I did body clip the other day. Touch ups still need to be done. Full story and photos to come.

Know Your Own Horse

Today’s Tip: You have to know your own horse, it’s more valuable than any vet’s evaluation…Sorta. Read on to figure out what I mean.

Life is getting busy again. I’m taking online classes and we’re getting busy with one right now that I swear expects us to read a whole novel just to understand what we’re supposed to do for the class. Honestly, I’ve heard more concise explanations of collecting a horse than how to do an annotated bibliography!

Anyway, that meant that my only horsey time yesterday was running errands and today it was just feeding. On the plus side – yesterday my saddle came! It’s a used Tennessean, and it’s very used. Watch for updates on what I hope will be the miracles of saddlesoap and leather conditioner. I also have a barn stocked full of grain, cat food, supplements, and salt blocks. Not nearly as exciting for me, but the critters were rather pleased.

So my point about knowing your own horse…The other day I thought it would be good do some exercises for the horses even when I just have a minute or two. A dressage instructor long ago taught me to apply pressure under their bellies to get them to round their back up. If you’ve never done this, stand on the side of your horse facing them (like you were grooming). My preferred method is to put my hands palms up, stick all my fingers straight up, put them on the underneath side of the horse’s barrel, and push up and wiggle my fingers. It will be a little closer to you than their center, so I do it on both sides to make sure they get an even stretch/muscle builder. Classy was just fine with this exercise, especially since he’s done it plenty of times before. Both my mares, at least one of whom I know has done it before, pinned their ears and generally expressed dissatisfaction with the whole thing. Although I have two mares and only one gelding, I’m really more experienced with the boys. Part of me wonders if they’re just “being mares.” They probably would have preferred to have just been left alone to nibble hay and sun themselves, but here I was sticking them with my pokey fingers. On the other hand, there could also be a physical problem.

Most of the time when I read about responses like this, “experts” say, “Ask your vet.” I’ve done that. Evee has been cinchy for a long time. She didn’t used to be and I’ve tried several different approaches and I can’t help but think there’s a physical problem. It’s just an instinct. Several vets, though, have said, “No, it’s just bad behavior.” I feel kind of stuck because short of spending tons of money and energy hauling her around to specialists, I’m kind of out of resources.

What now? My plan is to wait a week or so, try the exercises again, continue pushing and prodding (gently) in different contexts, and see if I can isolate the issues myself. For all I know, they could even bee in heat and it’s just a “time of the month” pain. Again…less experience with the girls, so I have no idea… If I ever find any trends, any specifics, I’ll share them with my vet. If I don’t, I’ll be happy to chalk it up to bad behavior. I can fix that! (maybe…)

Moral of the story: Know your horse because your vet doesn’t have the daily interaction you do, so you have to be the one to speak up for them. Years of education and experience give them one advantage, but not the whole package.