"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Update on the Goofball

I've been absent for almost a week here, but not much has happened.

Lily continued to be on stall rest all last week, at the same time as Jezebel, which actually made the whole ordeal a little more fun: Sally and I hand-grazed the girls together (they're besties), we let them loose in the indoor or the outdoor together to walk around, and just hung around the barn for extended lengths of time for no real reason other than to be around the horses. :)

Lily's right front remained tight, even after her and Jez, while turned out in the outdoor, got all of the studly boys in the field next to the arena all riled up and chaos ensued.

Sally took this awesome photo of my mare having a ball in the outdoor before getting to work stirring up trouble

The field next to the outdoor is where all of the geldings that like to mount mares end up-it's a paddock away from all the mares-one of them has been known to attempt this stunt over fences!!

Lily had presented her butt to precisely this gelding, and I walked over and shooed the girls away. Both of them trotted off with tails flagged, and seeing the ladies showing off so prettily, all 4 boys started tearing around their field like a small herd of wild stallions. This, of course, got the girls hyped up further, who started GALLOPING on their "lame" legs around the arena (" " because they showed no signs of lameness then...), which of course got ALL of the other horses in the neighboring fields worked up in a chain reaction, and before we knew it, there were 40 horses on the farm all tearing around their respective paddocks and fields. Holy Mother of God... Sally and I were, of course, in the middle of this trying to get the two mares to calm down so we could catch them, but they were having none of it. (Oh and did I mention that the outdoor and the neighboring fields are in full view of BQ's windows? Hahaha...) Sally was WHOAing Jez and offering a treat in an extended hand as Jezebel ran by, and her mare hesitated several times when seeing the treat, but my goofball doesn't care about treats and all she wanted to do was run...so since Lily is the ring leader of this duo and she was galloping, Jez continued to gallop. Lily was about to give me a heart attack.

It was probably 5 minutes but it seemed like 20 before we were able to get them to stop. Jez finally gave in to the treat hound in herself and came to Sally, which forced Lily to halt. I had to kinda sorta chase her in circles around Jezebel before she actually allowed me to catch her. Sally and I stood there panting, looking at one another in horror, and decided we would probably not be doing this again in the near future...

Thankfully, neither one of the mares suffered ill effects from behaving like idiots. I put Lily's ice boot on and left it on until the ice melted, just for good measure.

Our trimmer-farrier came out on Friday to trim Jez and check on Lily. By then Lily was pretty much sound, but would seem somewhat off if I trotted her on concrete in a circle. Our trimmer-farrier said that it seemed to be more of a compensatory thing with Lily where she is basically tighter on one side than the other due to her conformation. She gave me an exercise to do with Lily on the lunge, where I work her on a small circle, turn her head in, and have her sidestep with her hinds only. Kind of like a shoulder-in on a circle. We started doing this over the weekend in the evenings after work. The weather has been awful, so they stayed inside. Today both Lily and Jez are to be turned out together in a semi-private turnout (Sally and I lobbied for this, and both BQ and the Powers that Be granted our wish...it was a weird coincidence how it worked out, but more on that in another post.)

Last night I worked Lily in the indoor, and decided to do a regular lunge workout with her.  I had her trot a lot, on the lunge and at liberty, and we did the trimmer's exercise at walk and trot, then we did more regular lunge work. I stopped when I realized Lily was sweating, and not just a little-her neck, shoulders, withers, girth area, chin and cheeks were wet. This seemed really odd. It was 36 degrees. She has to be working HARD and under saddle to sweat at that temperature. We literally only worked for 30 minutes, and it was nothing unusual. The trimmer's exercise we did for a grand total of maybe 10 minutes, including breaks in between on a larger circle-I didn't want her to strain anything. I felt myself start to freak out-maybe she's in pain? Maybe she really is lame in both hinds and I'm not seeing it. Maybe it's just that her coat has gotten a little longer with the lingering cold (it has). I don't know. She had complained about some things and didn't seem as playful as she usually is when I set her free in the indoor after being cooped up. She had trotted out nicely, flipping her front feet out happily and seeming to skim over the ground. I thought maybe she was stepping ever so slightly short on her left hind when on a circle but then she was also trotting a little more sluggishly in this direction-she has always preferred really moving out to the right. Always, since the very first day I lunged her at the barn in FL. She is not resting the left hind any more than usual, I think, and when she trotted away from me in a straight line, I saw no hitch in her step when seen from the rear.

I put her cooler on, and decided to walk her out until the sweat had dried on her. She was being really lovey tonight though. I stopped to talk to Jill, BQ's assistant who rents the little apartment above the barn, and Lily kept nuzzling my face and my legs.

Back on the cross ties in front of her stall, I noticed her standing like a "V"-camped under. It does freak me out every time she does this. The trimmer isn't doing her for another 3 weeks or so, so I decided to trim her myself. For the first time, I used the coarse side of the rasp, and got to work backing up her feet. As I finished each foot, I put it down and stepped back to watch her shift into position. Her posture relaxed, her back softened, and she put her feet out in a normal stance. Okay. I went around and took a little more off of each hoof. I was surprised when she turned around and nuzzled me after each front foot. She seemed happy. I had backed her hooves more than ever before, but they needed it. Maybe that's all I'm seeing... I put Durasole on all 4 feet, and put her away in her stall for the night.

Today, she goes out in the semi-private turnout with Jez...fingers crossed they behave!


  1. Haha! Oh mares! Hope they decide to calm down a little now!

  2. MARES! UGH.

    And hurrah for trimming and nuzzles! They're always the best. Q camps under like that randomly, too, and I inwardly freak, but then I have to remind myself that the majority of the time she ISN'T standing like that. And she's NEVER standing like that in the field when I see her EVER. Its just something she sometimes does when I bring her in. And I probably only think its happening more because it bothers me so much. Must. Learn. To. Not. Freak. About. Everything. Hahahaha. HORSES!

  3. Briana: They did good in the turnout yesterday! After 10 minutes of running around...lol! But I can't blame them for that...they'd both been cooped up for a week!
    They behaved the rest of the day, though. :)

    Liz: That makes me feel much better! Years ago, I never used to pay attention to this stuff! (How they stand, if they tilt their head slightly to the inside or outside while ridden, tail swishing when asked to do stuff, etc, etc, etc.) I just didn't know that all of these little things could mean something. Sometimes I think knowing more almost makes things worse for us, the owners. The vets at work actually learn to turn their "vet switch" off around their own animals (they still know exactly when to do something about an issue, but they learn to not obsess about what may or may not be something significant). I need to start doing the same. We were just talking about this the other day-one of the techs at work is worse about her dog than I am about Lily and the cats, and one of our ER doctors was teasing her, "Don't you know it's an unspoken rule that you never do physical exams on your own pets?"