December 15, 2014

Serene Sunday

Got to play with my girl this weekend on Saturday before the cold came in.  Worked on trotting in the arena and then did a "trail ride" around the property.  She's such a responsive girl!

December 09, 2014

Pony Updates

Things have slowed down on the pony front since it's now dark when I arrive at the barn.  I don't have a lit place to ride but that's fine for now.  Dani has pasture and we are content.  I was gone for about 10 days in Myrtle Beach, SC for Thanksgiving with Steve's family.  I came back and had a tooth floating appointment, then a hoof trim.

The vet and then my farrier mentioned her hind leg seeming a little swelled.  Since both mentioned it I decided I should address this old injury.  This past summer Dani was hitting her leg on the pipe fencing between stall runs at KCRC.  She's never fully returned to her pre-injury leg conformation but hasn't been lame.  I figured a 24 hour wrap using Icetight poultice couldn't hurt.  It's like a mud mask and Dani was pretty good about me applying it and then wrapping her leg.

The next evening I unwrapped her leg and then took a bucket to rinse off the mud.  What a mess!  It was cold, cold, cold.  My hands went numb (wanting a bucket heater and stainless pail so badly!).  My tooth doctor had one to keep her tools nice and warm for the floating, I was impressed since it heated the water quickly.  Warm water in winter???  Awesome!

Dani's leg looked good after I rinsed off the clay to get a look.  There is still the calcified bump on her leg where the injury was but her leg doesn't look as puffy.  Icetight worked nicely I think but I will only use it when I can easily hose off her leg in warmer weather.  Going to look into other liniments or poultices that could help with future swelling.

I dried her off as best I could and brought her back to her hay in the field.  It was only 6pm but felt like midnight.  I can't wait until the time change again....March 8th.  Till then hopefully I'll be able to get a ride in this weekend and the coming holidays!

December 03, 2014

Stubs' Year Anniversary

About one year ago I took in a feral cat from Dani's barn.  This was a barn that had lots of comings and goings and not the most safe location for a kitty to live since they could easily end up in the garage or in a random horse trailer headed who knows!  One year ago I took in a feral cat not knowing what would happen and was greatly rewarded!

When I first moved Dani to the KCRC riding club boarding facility I noticed a cute little bobbed cat running around.  N, a boarder at the time told me about her releasing three kittens to live there and be barn cats.

They never became human friendly since I think the release was too sudden and they didn't really have human interaction.  Still we both left out dry cat food and the cat food would disappear

I often found the one cat I saw between the barn wall and my hay bales.  I nicknamed her Stubs though at the time I was thinking "boy".  I have mostly male animals, or had I guess I should say.  I tend to think of critters in the male sex but now that I have a mare and a female cat or course that perspective has changed.

The summer of 2013 Stubs had a litter of kittens in the lean to nearest Black Forest Road.  Those kittens were eventually adopted since that boarder took care of them.  Stubs was very skittish at the time.  That November Stubs started hanging around Dani's stall when I would feed her, so I started talking to her and began feeding her yummy wet food.

It became apparent that she wanted to have a human friend or some type of company so I talked with a co-worker who had trapped a feral cat and borrowed his trap to get this little girl captured and spayed at least.  Little did I know how much she would warm up to me and my household.....mainly my current house cat Armani.

It took several weeks in the guest bedroom to bond and earn her trust and then introduce her to Armani and then my two dogs.  Eventually my little kitty became a full blown member of the household with no thought about returning to the barn.  I was pretty happy since outdoor cats do live shorter lives.  

We had some bumps along the road when I was given bad advice of "forced love" from a vet tech, hence I have a permanent scar on my arm but I look at it fondly now.  Stubs has become such a sweet cat who follows me around, hangs out with me and loves on Armani.  He is infatuated with her!  Things couldn't be better.

Now my little baby hangs out on my messy desk....lounging like the spoiled house cat she has become.

She watches me where ever I am.  I can't put my contacts in my eyes each morning without her under my arms purring and walking about my "vanity area".  I can't put on my pants without her winding in and out of my legs.  I can't sit at my desk to surf the net or work without having her try to cuddle with my hands on the keyboard.

She is full of fun and she's curious as.....a cat.  Steve and I brought out the nail guns and air compressor for my dad to use since he wants to finish his and my mom's basement.  We took the guns out of the bag and in popped the little kitty.  "What?  This bag isn't my new bed?!!!!"

She's my little bundle of complete love and joy.  Armani is a love bug too, don't get me wrong....but Stubs has bonded to me and claimed ME as her person.  Armani is more of a daddy's boy even though my lap gets chosen on occasion.

She looks grumpy here but is slow blinking and purring up a storm

Stubs is happy and healthy aside from what I think is an food allergy we are working to solve (notice some of the ouchies on her neck etc.).  Hopefully we can find out what food is causing that issue and get her healed up since I know she's itchy.

Anyways, my baby Stubs is such a lovey little girl and I'm so glad she decided to adopt me and have me be her care taker.  I feel lucky every day!!

November 09, 2014

Serene Sunday

Beautiful fall day and a ride around the property.

Cutest pony ears ever!

November 03, 2014

Missing chunk

Dani come up missing a part of her mane.  

I love her mane so this was heartbreaking.  Generally it's not noticeable unless her mane is perfectly combed.  I've started a program from Manely Long Hair, there is a great detangler and then a hydrating conditioner that you can dilute into a spray in leave on conditioner.  The detangler is very slick and I recommend gloves since it's pretty messy.

The kit I purchased also comes with the smaller detangler brush the larger brush to brush out the mane and tail to keep it clean.  So far the system is very impressive and I'm hoping that having less tangle free hair will prevent future missing chunks.

After several days in the wind Dani's hair was very easy to brush and though it was dirty from her usual rolling on the ground.  It was excellent not having all those tangles in her mane.  Seems to be a great system so far!

November 02, 2014

Serene Sunday

Hanging with the pony on a windy Sunday

November 01, 2014

Jiggy Ride Near the High School

It has been very busy at work and at home I’ve been trying to catch up on things I’ve neglected like cleaning and organization.  When I’ve been at the barn it’s been for a quick hello to Dani and then a push to finish the trailer painting.  At least now it’s pretty much done with just door jams and similar areas that need painting and a period of time being left open to fully dry.

It also seems like ages ago that I went for a ride with M across the street to the high school.  I’d taken Dani for a walk over there once to see what it was like so felt we were ready for a little ride.  M and I went for the ride one evening when it wasn’t too busy outside with football practices and the school’s track team.

Honestly Dani was pretty good but again I had the issue that either she walks too fast or Scotty is a slow boy!  At times Dani was sort of jiggy and excited but she didn’t try to run off.  I felt like I was having to constantly slow her down and felt like I was just pulling on her mouth.  A few times she wanted to trot in excitement but a quick turn into a circle stopped that.

On the way home she kept tossing her head, I think a bug or something got in her nose because a large snort calmed her down and the head tossing ceased.  I’ve since purchased Julie Goodnights Kindle version of trail riding.  In that book there is a section about jiggy behavior and how to remedy that.  Since I don’t have access to the book right now as I write this here is what she wrote on her webpage answering the question from a lady with a jiggy horse:

“The solution that I have always had success with is to pick up high on the reins (sitting back on your pockets at the same time) when he breaks into the trot, and the instant the horse walks, drop the reins dramatically to a very loose rein, with your hands actually laying on the horse’s neck so he can feel them. He may only walk a step or two before he trots again, then pick up and release dramatically (the rein drop has to be very dramatic so that the horse notices).
Soon he will associate walking with a totally loose rein and that is what he wants (that is what any horse wants). Also, it really helps to concentrate on the walk rhythm and really sit down on him hard and make sure you are not tensing in your seat in anticipation of the horse breaking into trot. Often in this situation, people tense in their seat thinking that the horse is going to break into trot and pretty soon, the horse thinks he is supposed to be trotting because he feels the rider's weight shifting forward. So make sure you are sitting well back on your seat bones with loose and relaxed joints.
Trust the horse to walk on a loose rein. If you feel him tense up like he might trot, just sit relaxed. Do not correct him unless he actually breaks into a trot. That way he learns to trust you too and he learns that he is only corrected if he actually trots. Don’t get sucked into the vicious cycle of you pulling all the time and him jigging all the time.”

I have longer split reins on order, back order actually from Chicks Saddlery, that I will hopefully receive soon and it will be much easier to do this dramatic take up and release of the reins.  I’ll have to try this first when it’s just us and then again when Scotty is there.  I think Dani really has no opinion on riding with Scotty, I don’t think she’ll have an issue riding out alone but we shall see!

October 30, 2014

Nailed it!!!

This is going to be a very girly post.  I have never been able to wear nail polish for longer than a day, they chip or peel usually within the first six hours.

Forget wearing nail polish at the barn, there is no way. I always have short, short nails to.  I've since discovered some at home gel nail kits.  The system I've been using is called Sensationails.  The first test was with the light pink that came with the starter kit, see picture above.

I painted right over that after a day with a mauve color.  I was impressed it survived a grooming and hoof picking session!

So far I've tired a Cappucino color....

Then this lighter silver color which is called Disco Fever....

Finally what I have on now is a darker grey silver with blue and green tones.  I've moved my grandma, gone to the barn, cleaned the house, done dishes.....these gel nails rock and I'm slowly getting better at application (especially when I have to use my left hand to paint)

So just wanted to let horse ladies out there that have a desire for pretty nails that last, check out Sensationails or even Sally Hansen gel nails.  I love that I can go to the barn, groom Dani and then go to the store and not have to look at all the dirt under my nails or figure out how to clean under them before I can get home to running water.

October 29, 2014

What a Boon!!!

I feel special today!  I love watching and reading Julie Goodnight's shows and articles about horsemanship.  She has a great way of explaining things and breaking down issues into "digestible" parts.

Today, Julie Goodnight posted on her Facebook page that canter was the topic of the day; she and Heidi were working on an article for Horse Illustrated.  Somehow she had found my blog where I posted back in 2012 about the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo.  At the Expo she discussed a lot about the various gaits and I was excited about her input on canter transitions.

As you all know canter is the gait I've had most of my accidents and where most of my fear has sprung.  I look forward to the article since I think Dani and I can work on this very soon.

I have to say though, what a boon!!  Julie Goodnight's post on Facebook sent readers to my little itzy-bitzy blog where I ramble about everything, don't show my horse or compete, and often get off track from purely horsie things (kitties, trailers....etc) but I guess that describes a lot of us huh?  

Thanks Julie for the shout out!  I feel very special indeed and I think you know you have a groupie for life in me.  LOL

October 28, 2014


Scratches is an odd name for a form of dermatitis often occurring on the fetlocks. It is
caused by a bacteria that can infect stressed skin of the foot. Similar to rain rot, the skin is
exposed to wet and muddy conditions and can cause microscopic cracks whereby
infection can take hold. The bacteria is naturally occurring in the environment and thrives
in moist conditions where it can take hold on the lower legs of our equine pals.
Dani didn't really have exposure wet conditions before her scratches formed but I think it
could very well have been due to the wetting of her hing legs due to her hoof clipping
injury. In the past I think she had this once and I just washed her legs really well thinking
it was mud. It very well could have been scratches and she was subjected to muddy
conditions at that time. These scratches cases have been very mild compared to really red
and swollen cases I've Googled online.

I've been treating Dani using Shapley's MTG which has sulfur in it as the primary ingredient.  It's not as concentrated as the above process for making a paste with sulfur powder.  If this continued too long I would have made a more concentrated treatment.

Dani's foot after only one treatment
Above is Dani's foot after one application.  Pretty much as it was, I thought it was mud at first so didn't know to treat it right away.  It's not the type of "scratches" image that I have in my mind!  

A week later the hard crusts have fallen off mostly, much less "stuff"

This second picture above shows her foot after about a week of treatment, I didn't treat daily, maybe every other day when I could get out there and since some days were raining it didn't make sense to treat her since it would just wash off.  There were only a couple "dirt clumps"/scabs left the rest was just dirt.  

Here are her fetlocks now, much better.  I'm still applying the MTG for a couple more days.  It's good to know what a mild case of scratches looks like.

I'm glad the MTG worked well. As a prevention I plan on using No Thrush, a white
powder used for treating and preventing thrush in the hoof sulci. The label and website
also indidcates that No Thrush can be used to treat and prevent scraches. This is good to
know and since it's a powder that is easier and less messy to apply than MTG or a sulfur
paste I could make myself. 

MTG was simple to use but making a
concentrated paste with food grade sulfur is an option for a more difficult case. Zinc
olxide paste is another option stated by a vet. Diaper rash cream contains this. If needed
the area can be wrapped for a couple days to keep the ointment on the skin longer.
Now that I'm aware what mild scratches looks like I can be more vigilant on spotting and
treating it.