June 2017 archive

Farm Friday 06.23.2017

It is the week of the summer solstice, but Texas summer is still holding off a bit. Yay! It is supposed to be gross hot today, but then cool off for nearly a whole week!

Sterling has been a superstar about getting his leg worked on this week. He isn’t the most typical of horses, so I would have expected him to have been much more difficult for the twice daily wound draining procedure. Most days he would just eat grass while I squeezed on his stifle. The best part is that means it doesn’t hurt.

Sterling eats his meals while I do his hydrotherapy. The dogs LOVE the horse feed from Muenster feed mill because it has coconut oil. Mickey has decided to help himself to Sterling’s food during his hydrotherapy and went so far as to growl at Sterling to which Sterling’s response was to slowly walk away from his food. Yup, the 6lb dog ran the 1100lb horse away from his food!

 

This will be Dragon’s first real Texas summer. She isn’t a fan so far and when the temps get into the 80s she prefers the sofa to being outside, even though she LOVES to play with her buddy Dickens in the horse pasture.

Sighthounds passed out on the sofa. Notice that Dickens mouth is open. He played so hard and was so tired that he slept like an old man with his mouth open and even drooled. Ha!

 

Bubbles is the somewhat feral barn cat. For the first year we had her she didn’t leave the horse stall where her food lives. However, for the past few weeks she has been adventurous and we have seen her outside some. Yay for Bubbles! She also has started sleeping in the chicken wire in the ceiling of the barn. Presumably this is cooler, but it sure looks silly!

Bubbles relaxing in her chicken wire sleeping hammock. Eventually we will build a real chicken coop and tear down this old barn and the poor kitty wont have her chicken wire hammock any more. She also sleeps with her tongue hanging out. We always have the weirdest barn cats.

Happy weekend y’all and stay cool!

Poor Broken Sterling

On Memorial Day Sterling surprised me with this:

It is kind of a long video with cheesy music, but you get the drift. At first I was terrified that it was something neurological. He wouldn’t walk straight and seemed a bit drunk. It wasn’t until I got him in his stall and ran my hands all over him that I found this:

Super, duper, giant fat stifle.

I texted the video to my vet and my trainer and both agreed (independently) that Sterling had most likely gotten kicked HARD in his stifle. Trainer recommended DMSO on it and vet recommended DMSO plus hydrotherapy twice a day as well as stall rest. Blargh. I was relieved to at least find an injury rather than something disease related.

Thankfully we have a well, otherwise this would be one expensive water bill!

Well, after a couple weeks of DMSO, hydrotherapy and stall rest the swelling just wasn’t going down so the vet came by this week to look at it and devise a plan. After looking it over he offered two options. Option 1 we could either put him back in work (he isn’t visibly lame anymore) and see if it goes down, but the risk there is that the swelling actually gets worse and results in permanent fluid build up on his stifle. Not very desirable. Option 2 was to lance the swelling and drain it. Gross, but probably better to get rid of the fluid. We went with Option 2. Sadly I don’t have any media from the lancing and draining, but suffice it to say it was gross. A mix of pale yellow liquid and blood. I hope you aren’t eating when you read this! Sterling was sedated and the area was numbed for the procedure so it went easily. Of course this is when Vet advised that I’m going to have to continue hydrotherapy AND try to squeeze fluid out of the newly cut hole for as long as the hole remains open. Sweet, and I don’t get the advantage of sedative and numbing.

More hydrotherapy after the stifle was lanced and drained. I bet half a gallon of liquid came out. Ew.

Vet advised that we may need to lance and drain it again after a few days. We are on Day 3 of hydrotherapy followed by squeezing the area to get fluid out. I enlist Boot City to help when he’s around since he has much stronger hands and Sterling can be a handful for stuff like this. I can’t imagine it feels good to have someone trying to squeeze a bunch of fluid out of a hole in your leg that is trying to heal. There seems to be a new spot with a smaller buildup up fluid, but overall the swelling has gone down. Sterling is mostly just angry that he’s on stall rest again and cries for his friends when they get turned out. Hopefully this works and we will be back to riding by early July.

Go McCraken!

I couldn’t for the life of me find a live feed Saturday night, but I can tell you that McCraken won his first race back since the Kentucky Derby!

The very official proof of McCraken’s win. A screenshot from my iCellular of the Churchill Downs website.

The Paulick Report did a nice write-up about the race. You can click on the link to read all about it, but in a nutshell McCraken started somewhat poorly, held steady then zoomed up to win!

The jockey was Brian Hernandez,Jr. who also rode him the Kentucky Derby.

Since he started at the back of the field, he got pretty dirty!

 

McCraken is by the same sire as Simon; Ghostzapper. I did a pedigree post a while back about Simon.You can read more here.

I think they look alike in the eye. I haven’t studied McCraken’s conformation so can’t really comment on their similarities there, but he is definitely MUCH faster than Simon!

Handsome McCraken.

 

Handsome, and very LAZY, Simon.

 

The same day McCraken won the Matt Winn, I had to ride Simon with a dressage whip just to get him to trot! Just because they are bred to run, doesn’t necessarily mean they want to run! But we sure are enjoying cheering for Simon’s brother, literally from another mother!

Farm Friday 06.16.2017

This was a relatively quiet week at the farm. The weather is heating up to typical Texas summer temps, which makes me kind of sad. The spring and fall here are delightful, but the summers really are brutal!

Sweet little Harriet had her first heartworm injection this week. She was quite lethargic the first day, but has pepped up since. She will have two more injections in a month and hopefully will then be cured and ready to be adopted!

 

I can’t even with these two! This is no less than 150 pounds of dog on one dog bed. Never mind that there are at least two other same-sized dog beds they can use.

 

This is Mickey, our most recent foster from the Fort Worth shelter. He is your typical 6 pound dog who acts like he is 60 pounds! He is also heartworm positive so will be starting treatment soon. In the meantime he is trying his paw at goat herding.

 

Pardon her closed eyes, but this is Coco modeling her new fly sheet. She is a solid 16hh so I have mostly bought her sheets and blankets sized for a horse that tall, which is generally a 75-78 depending on their body type. Well, Coco has a very compact body and she was tearing up her size 76 fly sheet because it was too big and didn’t fit her correctly. This sheet is a 72. She is so petite!

 

This photo is a barn evening in a nutshell! Peaches asleep in the middle of the doorway. Quila chasing chickens trying to find eggs to eat and chickens wandering in the barn aisle and pooping on the floor.

 

Happy weekend y’all!

New 10 Questions Summer Blog Hop

I first saw this on A Gift Horse, but the actual questions are from Rocking E Cowgirl.

  1. What is your earliest, clearest horse memory?  Probably getting bucked off of Ernie, my first pony. My brother and I were (for some odd reason) riding our ponies through the lawn and the little kiddy pool scared Ernie and off he went! I’m pretty sure I got in trouble for riding in the yard.
  2. Describe the perfect summer day. The perfect summer day is most definitely NOT in Texas! I loved horse showing in Montana summers as well as moving cattle on various friends and family’s ranches. Also, nothing is better than the smell of Montana summer rain.
  3. Are you reading anything right now? Tell me about it! I’m trudging through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The author recently passed away and Boot City loved it, so I thought for sure I would like it. I’m about 100 pages and in and I have to force myself to read. I can’t quit reading a book, so I’ll make myself finish it even if I hate it.
  4. Do you follow a celebrity (horsey or non) that you’re embarrassed to say fascinates you? Tell me. NOW. Not really. I follow a lot of hunter and jumper riders, but def not really any celebrities.
  5. What is your single most biggest horsey dream or goal? Show in the Higher A/O Hunters, hopefully with Coco. If she chooses to be a jumper and not a hunter I guess this goal would be the jumper equivalent.
  6. If you were at Starbucks right now, what would you order? Grande latte with 3 raw sugars
  7. What is your biggest equine pet peeve? People stating that any one thing is absolutely right or wrong. So many people are on social media right now talking about this or that thing/method/supplement/etc is the be all end all greatest/worst thing you could ever do to a horse. Outside of flat out abuse of an animal (like produces blood/fear/some other strong reaction) there are myriad methods to train/feed/keep horses.
  8. With everything going on politically and in the media, tell me, do you follow it religiously? Tune it out? Or something in between? I’d like to tune it all out, but that would be irresponsible.
  9. If you had to show your horse to a song, what would you choose? Bolero
  10. What are you most looking forward to this summer? Riding my horses!

Farm Friday 06.09.2017

When I woke up this morning I was pretty sure someone outside was flipping a light switch off and on. In reality, it was Mother Nature. I check the weather pretty religiously and I’m confident there were slim to no chances for storms today. Alas, by the time I was finishing up feeding the horses it was POURING rain! We are still a few inches behind average rainfall, so I’ll take it!

This was Pablo’s feed pan when I got home from a work trip last Friday. It rained over 3.5″ that day!

 

This is what happens when you forget to latch Sterling’s stall and he’s in the barn all day on stall rest. Oopsy! Pic cred to Boot City

 

How many hens can you find in this photo? They are ALL broody and stay in this position, more or less, 24/7. Chicken ridiculousness.

 

These two are goat brothers. I think it is so cute they are the same color! The little guy is for sale if you are in the market for a baby goat.

 

One of our adorbs foster kittens. They go to the Humane Society of North Texas this weekend and will be available for adoption! Get you a kitty!

I Love Horses

My name is Tara and I love horses. Supposedly that is the first step to recovery, right?! I can’t imagine my life without these divine creatures playing a major role and am so grateful I have the means and the support of Boot City to have them. People often compare the hobby of horseback riding to playing sports or golfing or other “similar” activities, but there is one glaring difference. If you own or lease a horse you are responsible for the care and well being of an 800+ pound animal 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 52 weeks per year. It is kind of like marriage; you take a vow to care for them in sickness and in health.

So far 2017 has had it’s fair share of “sickness”, mostly in the form of injuries. Right, Sterling?

We like to selfie while on stall rest. Again.

Simon tried to pull his hoof off of his leg this spring, but miraculously was never lame. The injury looked really bad and made me kind of nervous so I haven’t been riding him. I want to let the hoof grow out more and he is really just a baby so the time off is fine.

Simon trying on a hunt bridle to prepare for what we hope will be his future career!

Jaguar is kicking it retirement-style. His hurt leg is noticeably off, but he’s happy as a clam out in his pasture with his buddies. He even trots and canters sometimes! I thought he’d be annoyed at being retired, but he’s taken to it pretty well. He still bosses everyone around, including the neighbor horses.

The handsomest 24 year old, grandson of Doc Bar, past AQHYA World Championship qualifying reiner, retired fox hunter, there ever was!

Coco (so far) is one of my “in health” horses currently. She has had PLENTY of “in sickness” over the past few years so she deserves it! We will make our way to a few more horse shows this summer as Sterling convalesces. Miles, miles and more miles are my goals for Coco this year.

Hanging out in her giant stall at the horse show. My favorite thing about Texas Rose Horse Park are the huge permanent stalls. It is so nice for the bigger hunter/jumper horses to not be stuck is some tiny 10×10 or even 12×12.

Last, but certainly not least, Casey has been the VERY best step-in hunt/whipper-in horse I could have asked for! He was a perfect gentleman all hunt season, enjoyed a few trail rides and now is FOR SALE! The plan had been to take him back to Montana, but Mom thinks it would be best for him to stay in Texas and have a busier job with someone who will appreciate him. Casey is one of those horses that you can truly grab out of the pasture, jump on and go and there is no drama. I know because we did just that 2 weekends ago. He hadn’t been ridden since March and I hopped on (with no lunge) and he trotted and cantered around like he was ridden yesterday. And he’s only FIVE! He’s got SO MANY great years ahead of him! So, you should buy him, or at least tell your friends to buy him. For reals.

Poor Casey’s biological clock stayed on Montana seasons so he didn’t start shedding his winter coat until JUNE! When he would get hot and it was wet, well, he would roll in the mud to cool off.

No, horses are not just a “hobby”. I can’t put them in a closet and forget about them until the next time I want to “play”. They are my lifestyle and I love every second!

Farm Friday 06.02.2017

It’s June now, how did that happen?! Enjoy some photos of the cuteness that abounds on the farm!

This little nugget goes to The Humane Society of North Texas to be adopted next weekend! Get you a kitty cat!

Goats are ridiculous and cute. Baby Esther is off to the left. I love her.

Yes, this chicken has roosted for the night on an extension cord. At least one and sometimes two hens roost on this extension cord every night. You would think they did not have a room full of roosting bars…..

Can you find the kitty cat?

Quila went down to the mailbox with me and it makes me nervous when the dogs go near the busy highway by our house. She was clearly trained by someone at some point. I told her to sit and stay and she did!

A BEAUTIFUL sunset on the farm