Thursday, April 24, 2008

Meet Polo Man

Poor PLo (Polo) is still sore. Better, but still sore. The vet dug a little on his sole to look for an abscess, but we still can't find anything of the sort. The vet is supposed to do some xrays tonight.
PLo has issues to say the least. He's cranky, back sore, gets a weird fungus on his head every spring/summer, nervous, has really bad scars and terrible about his hind feet being picked up. His attitude and body show what kind of life he has lead. He has a lip tattoo, but no one can read it.
I picked him out :-x (the farm owner and I went in together to buy him as a "guest" horse) He must have felt me coming miles away because he didn't show ANY of the above when I tried him out 3 times. I liked him cuz he was smallish, SMOOTH gaited, seemingly*bombproof* and seemed friendly enough.
The ponies got sha-oozs today:-) I was worried PLo wasn't going to be able to stand for new shoes today, but he did fine. He was actually better than usual, maybe it's cuz I let him go first :-) I pulled his mane a bit and made him look purty. My farrier, Ronnie, agrees with me that he thinks Polo is sore up high and not in the foot. I massaged his glutes a bit with Absorbine Liniment Gel. (Polo's not Ronnie's) He's really tight there and just sore through his whole backend. I gave him some bute too because I think the whole shoeing process can make them sore (it's like having flextion tests done IMO).

I had to return to work with a big green *lipstick* stain on my shirt, courtesy of Mr. Lester:-x Right on my left boob too, but no one has noticed thankfully. Less got the usual treatment: carrots, peppermints, sugar cubes, a brushing, hugs, kisses, bute, Ichon injection (it's marketed as "wound" care, I found the thread on COTH to have the best explanations for it) and I even de-wormed him this time. And of course Lester earned another smiley face.

Well I don't think injecting Lester's fetlock was the end of his right front lameness. I'm sure he feels better in there, but there's probably something going on in his knee as well. BUT since my vet bill is at $508 now and the state of GA says I owe them over $500 as well, I think I will wait on anymore joint injections:-x I lunged him a little last night and he was a lazy butt. It is so hard to lunge or walk him on grass, every few steps there is a *tug* on the leadrope, "Now, can I take a bite, now?" he asks. I can crack the whip right behind his bum and he finally will move forward, but not before taking a huge bite of grass. So it's been a week now since the injection and I haven't ridden him or done anything *work* wise in close to 2 weeks and it does show. He gets a weeee bit obnoxious and mouthy when he's out of work and he trips so much more on the lunge when he's plodding around and not asked to *use* himself. I am fully convinced that Lester has to stay in work in order to be*sound* in both body and mind. To make a long story short (too late) I'd like to try out his *working self* with the injection before injecting anything else.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Alpha bitch...

My sis, Jen aka Never say Never Greyhounds came for a visit on Saturday with her 3 greys. I finally got to meet Reagan, what a deer she is, literally :-) I didn't get really any pics of Limo's slumber party :-/ and I should have, it's always funny to see Limo in a swarm of greyhounds and she's right there in the middle of it all thinking she is one of them. Limo is actually a greyhound snob. She's very leery of other breeds, especially hairy ones or beagle mixes :-x guess no one told her she may have beagle in her.
The GrimLim was actually pretty nice to her guests. She only had 1 or 2 outbursts for which she was put in time out for. I think my sis just oozes "I am ALPHA" so Lim felt like she could give up the role a bit. I was surprised there wasn't more growling and snapping going on. Is this pic not hilarious?? :-D Check out the front legs,

Now some Lester news. I usually leave out a lot of important details because I have a hard time understanding what vets are telling me :-p I get the general picture and I leave it at that. The big words go in one ear and get lost.
Less' fetlock joint was injected with (HA) Hyaluronic acid and a steroid. I always want to say hydrochloric acid, but I'm pretty sure that would just make his joint completely dissolve into an acid cloud or something. HA is injected to restore fluid and give some cushion in the joint. We've injected his bad stifle before and it does help, makes him sound for a limited of time.
The little bit of lunging I have done with him I don't see any difference:-/ Could be still stiff from the injection itself I guess, still protecting the leg and going the way he's used to or he's sore somewhere else. Dr. Matt (Reynolds) did mention Less is also sore in his right knee so we may inject that in another week if Less doesn't show more improvement. On Saturday when I went to see the ponies, Less and Polo they both came running up to the gate. Less looked fine from what I could tell, I think he even threw in a crappy lead change;-), but poor Polo came in 3- legged:-( I thought for sure I was going to find something broken, but I could find no swelling or heat. So Laura met us halfway down the driveway and we were trying to figure out if it was his stifle or foot because he would not put his right hind heel completely down. We both agreed that it was probably an abscess (she called Jason (Dr. Mclendon) and told him what we were seeing and he said it was most likely an abscess too. It probably took 30 minutes to get Polo from the top pasture up to the barn. Less was an obnoxious thing on Saturday! He was acting like a young colt, he was chewing on his lead rope, head high and alert and posturing at the other horses, didn't bite me, but dug his teeth into me a few times :-x We brought them in a couple of hours early so he was clearly not impressed with that since he got shorted on his pasture time the day before also. *This* attitude made me think gosh he was be feeling good and sound, so I was disappointed to see that he was still off on the lunge line (again I'm wondering though if he's just used to going that way). He was much more mellow yesterday, back to his sweet, normal self. I'm going to have Dr. Matt look at him and see what he thinks and if I can get on him or really lunge him again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spur be gone.

The PonyMan got his injection in the right front fetlock last night. The vet drugged him up and put an evil twitch on him. Less was in la la land and I have to admit I was a bit jealous;-) He was a stellar patient as always. The procedure seemed quick and *painless* and he's now sporting a nice fluorescent yellow wrap. Since I had to kill time and wait to feed him and he was nice and *liquored up* I decided to take advantage of him and clean *him* Though I have to admit he's pretty good about it even when he's sober, it's just a lot easier to pick at *it* when you don't have to play tug-o-war with it or go way up into no woman's hand/arm should be there land.
He has to stay in his stall today so hopefully he's not too upset. I asked that another horse stay in with him at all times and maybe the other horses could rotate babysitting him:-) I can take him out and let him graze later so I know he will enjoy that. He can be turned back out tomorrow and maybe Sunday I can hop on him.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Right front

So I was hoping to have the vet watch Less under saddle, but it didn't happen. Guess it doesn't matter, I'm sure I'm fooling myself thinking he is *any* better u/s. Less was stiff, but not surprising since he had flection tests the day before, I shouldn't have even gotten on him.
We did get his right front xrayed though and it shows a spur in the fetlock joint. So we will inject that joint.
Dr. Reynolds also said he didn't like Less' reaction to his right knee flection so we may inject that too.
This week sucks. I'm ready to snap. From having to deal with state tax crap, crying at the sight of Spooky's pics, finding out my horse may have neuro problems, not knowing what's gonna happen when the *new* company takes us over...blah blah blah blah so yeah, when I see my lunge line left out yet AGAIN and introductions are being done at inappropriate times, yeah I'm gonna snap. Oh and I feel fat, don't fit in my clothes and hate my hair right now too :-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is He Lame or Is He Neurologic?

Sounds an awful lot like Lester's story

Southern Crescent Equine hired a new vet recently and I was eager to see what he "saw" in Lester. To date he will be the 5th vet to look at Less for his NQR'ness (not quite right). I find it interesting that each vet has their own ideas and procedures. The first couple of vets tried to pass it off as bad hocks, naturally dressage horse's hocks are the first to go in the scheme of things, but this wasn't the case with Less. His hock views look fine for his age, normal wear and tear. Then I had him examined by Dr. McClendon and finally he found something other than hocks and I was satisfied and it seemed to all make sense as far as all of his issues.

But is there more to it?

I struggle to know if what I'm asking Less is too painful for him or just too much. This is NOT my first post on the subject. I go from no riding, riding alittle- natural-where ever he wants to keep his head, to some actual dressage stuff. Some dressage work seems to be the best for us both. Mentally and physically. And ever since I have had Less on the Thyro-L his spooking has been very minimum.

So the following was done yesterday:
  • Back withdrawal: Pressure is placed over the back and pelvis to determine if the patient resents the pressure. Less didn't give into the pressure or act painful.

  • Mobility of the neck: The horse is quietly and gently encouraged to bend their neck so that the nostrils reach behind the shoulder.

  • Placement tests: The front legs are taken one at a time and crossed over the front of the other leg or placed in a wide stance. Normal horses should instantly replace their legs to the proper position while horses with spinal cord problems can take a long time to recognize their awkward stance. The test should be repeated on the opposite side and can also be done on the hind legs on subtle cases. This is probably the most alarming of all the tests. While he will right or replace his front legs quite normally he does not do so on his hind legs. He will hold the position as long as you let him and ask him to move forward. This means he doesn't know where his back legs are.

  • Tail sway: The tail is pulled to each side by the examiner while an experienced handler is walking the patient. Normal horses resent the tail pull, but "wobblers" are easily pulled to the side while walking and when the pressure is released, they over correct or sway to the side. Vet was able to pull Less off balance with the strength of one arm, he said normally he has to use both arms just to have a normal horse budge.

  • Tight circles: The patient is walked in a very tight circle pattern. A normal horse has the outside front foot placed in the front of the inside front foot and the inside hind foot placed in front of the outside hind foot. Horses with spinal cord problems will be confused and often reverse this order or pivot on the inside foot instead of lifting the leg. They will also swing the hind leg very wide (circumduction). Not sure how he scored here.

  • Hills: The patient is led up and down an incline with the head in a normal position and then again with the head elevated. Normal horses place their hind feet flat on the ground and do not elevate the front feet (hypermetria) when going down hill. When coming up hill, the normal horse should also walk with flat rear feet. Abnormal horses walk downhill as though they have been tranquilized (truncal ataxia) and will knuckle over on the hind fetlocks. The patient will walk on their toes coming up the hill and swivel the toes and hocks laterally trying to get enough strength to get up the hill. Walk the patient with the head elevated and if the horse is affected, the signs should be even easier to see. Less drags his toes and "bobbles" (noticeable lateral movement in hocks and feet.)

He watched him on the lunge line and straightways and saw what I feel and see- sound on the straight-a-ways and lame on a right circle. Less tripped, knuckled over behind twice, that's what happens when he "loses" his back in. I described to him that I find that he trips and stumbles more when he's not on the bit or round and that his whole body just feels stiff. In this position trying to turn him right is a chore to say the least. BUT if I have him flexed and round then I can bend him left or right with my legs and just my fingertips. He will watch me ride him in the next week or so to show him. I told him I felt like when he was flexed that he was more "aware" of his body, mostly the hind legs. He found this a bit weird sense the cases he's seen horses react the complete opposite, but when has Lester ever been an easy, textbook case?

So what does all this mean? Dunno yet. We also have to figure out what is going on with his right foreleg. I've always thought it was compensation for the back end problems, but I think it's too prominent for that to be the case anymore. His flections weren't good on it.

and I had him check Lester's teeth and the good news is his teeth are in great shape :-p

Monday, April 14, 2008

I didn't know Matt had a son :-o

Just kidding:-) Hah! Lester had a visitor on Saturday and he looked like he could be a son of Matt's...My friend Teresa brought her nephew Camden out to the farm to visit Gigi (the guest greyhound we have had) and to see the horses.
I forgot to mention in my last post ANOTHER reason I love Less so much is he is the sweetest and most gentle horse I have ever seen around kids -as long as they stay on the ground:-) A kid can lead him, hug him, feed him, brush him, anything. And he never disappoints with his tongue trick :-p

Lester will take treats with his lips and not take your whole hand off either. He's never been obnoxious about treats even though he is spoiled with them constantly! I never worry about him around kids.
Which leads me to a funny goat story. My nephew, Sam came to visit when Lester was still in my parent's backyard. We had 2 goats at the time too, Scarlett and Magnolia. Sam and I walked out to the pasture to see Lester and give him some carrots. Since Lester was not in a halter I was solely paying attention to him and making sure he didn't step on Sam. So I turn around and find Sam flat on his back, apparently Scarlet had knocked him down and she was standing over him ready to nail him again :-o Guess I should have paid more attention to Scarlet the B*tch Goat from Hell as I affectionately called her.
Well Limo is definitely fearful of little kids. But she's also fearful of manure piles that have been piled oddly so really she's just a wimp. She did finally warm up to Camden though and learned that not all kids are bad.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why I love Lester!

I couldn't have scripted this scene any better:-) Notice the brown dot in the middle of the video, to the right of the middle, green tree, see it, well I should say him cuz it's Lester the PonyMan. I called for him once and he didn't hear me, but my second call you can see some brown dot movement, that's his head shooting up from the grass- "MOM!!?" gosh it's enough to melt your heart isn't it?

The weather was horrible ALL weekend so I didn't ride him until Monday. Sunday was sunny, but the flies were just awful and all the horses were pretty crazed from trying to kick, swish and bite at flies. Poor ponies:-( Even after we doused the boys in vinegar and flyspray the flies were still attacking and I didn't want our first ride back (it had been over a week) to be miserable so I didn't get on him Sunday. I lunged him straight up (no bitting up) in his halter and let him WTC and he looked great both directions. He had his nose to the ground at the trot though because he really wanted to roll and knock off some flies. I even used the lunge whip and drug it along his back to get some of the flies off, he knew exactly what I was doing.

So Monday was our first ride back and he was a VERY good boy. I put on his magnetic sheet while I tack up in hopes that it helps warm and loosen him up a bit, can't hurt right? I bought the thing YEARS ago and at least it's finally getting use. It's the little things I really enjoy with him. He gives me the cutest and funniest faces when I tack him up, never lays his ears back even when I girth him. He opens his mouth for the bit with a very level head. He ground ties right in front of the tack room (I know the other people love this :-) he sometimes acts as a troll and demands a sugar cube to get in or out of the tackroom. You want him to move over? Just tap him. Sometimes he thinks it's ok to walk off, but for the most part he just stands there. I can run to my car or even go to the fridge and get carrots for him without him having to follow me- I love that :-) He's a perfect gent with his hoofies, if he doesn't already have it up and waiting for you just tap on his leg and he'll pick it up. Sometimes he'll pick a pad up off the rack or halter off the hook and he grabs his rein or lunge line and just likes to hold it in his mouth when I lead him out to the mounting block (yes I think they are all cute because he does it at such a minimum and doesn't destroy these items) . When it comes to mounting up I get up on the block and can guide him back or forward with little touches of the rein and voice and he stands there like a rock- doesn't move till I ask. He cracks me up because he's such a tough guy with other horses, pinned ears and charging after them, but is such a love to humans and he would never pin his ears to one (opps I lied, he does make ugly faces at feeding time:-x). THESE were the things I thought about last year when I had to decide whether to put him through the colic surgery.
OK, onto how our ride went. It was lovely, he was round and soft for the most part and I didn't have to sidestep him any to get there. I think he probably does go behind the vertical, but that is AOKAY with me as the alternative is a high/level head with a braced neck and he's holding the right side of the bit like he's super glued to it. I'd much rather him be a little too deep because in this frame he chews the bit, I can flex him left and right with the slightest touch of leg and hand and he just feels so soft yet powerful. The riding area is flat, but there is a hill that slopes downward a few yards away and there were 2 geese that I guess were flying the land because they came up that slope and were eye level with Less and I, they were still 25 yards away or more, but, normally this would have resulted in the TB-spinboltrun with a dropped shoulder, but he just stopped and looked like "WTF"? I'll admit, they caught me off guard too, but I was so impressed that he didn't panic.

I got on him again last night too and he was good again, but more stiff. We walked for a good 30 minutes, I tried to flex him without asking too much and he wasn't giving me much other than a level head and braced neck. He was more stumbly too in the hindend. So we went to the riding ring and we trail pony opened the gate and walked over some poles. He immediately went round and soft and just marched over the poles. I think he enjoyed something different. After that we trotted a little. He stumbles much less with he's "working" and flexed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spooky's Memory Page

It has taken me over 2 months to finish her portrait and find the words for her "In Memoriam" page, but it is done.

Click on her image to access the page at the
South Eastern Greyhound Adoption site.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mamma's got a brand new bag!

I don't' normally get excited about purses nor do I usually buy one- my friend Laura has kept me in good supply over the years with her no longer wanted purses, but I finally thought it was time to BUY my own :-)
I purchased it at The Animal Rescue Site where you can buy such cute, cute, cute items and the purchases all go to feeding shelter animals. Each item has a "bowl amount" and tells you how many bowls of food the item is worth.
My new bag fed 28 bowls of food. Cost to me was $26.95 So the bag was made in China :-( bleh, but it is faux leather so that's good. So far so good with it, I can fit a lot of crap in it as you can see what I usually carry (the camera would be in the pic to, but ya I'm taking this pic with it ;-) I also have answered more phone calls recently because it has a cool little spot for my phone so it no longer gets lost in "bottomofpurseland". They have a Satchel type of purse too with the cute paw prints so check them out!!! Looks like black is the only color left, that's what I have!

My Wubba, My Wubba, ...My Wubba and Meeeee!

I recently purchased the GrimLim a Wubba from THE ANIMAL RESCUE SITE! You may have noticed the purple button link I added to the blog for them recently- click it everyday to feed animals, no joke.
KONG® Snugga Wubba Toy $8.95, no squeaky inside, it's made up of a somewhat squishy ball plastic material, first ball is like a tennis ball though. We can all thank Limo for her discovery...

The day in a life with a Wubba (really just 10 mins)

Limo meet Wubba

Wubba parade (look what I have and you don't!) : no worries, that greyhound doesn't like toys...

Yom, yom, yom, yom:

The destuffation

2 week update: The wubba has been gelded (de-balled), but Lim Lim still loves it!
She will fight to the death for her Wubba! just kidding they are playing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Late night with Ronnie...

Talk about dedication! I love my farrier, Ronnie Deboard. Less pulled his shoe off last Friday and Ronnie was supposed to come out this Friday to put it back on, but his wife warned him about *Friday Traffic* and so he called me at 7pm last night and said he was coming tonight! So I went back to the barn about 8:15 and Ronnie got there around 9:45 :-o He drug his daughter along who I don't' think was much company because she had her phone and was texting, lol. But they hit no traffic and were able to drive straight through- it took him an hour and 45 mins to come tack on 1 shoe :-x He said it would cost me $60, but I paid him $75 because I just appreciate him so much. It's not like we had show or anything, he just needed the shoe back on.
It was such a fluke shoe pull too. Less was wearing bell boots and didn't step on his heal or anything, just the shoe that wasn't even sticking out far! Bad horse! but he's so sweet and cute so I forgive him :-)
I pulled Lester's mane last night while I waited on Ronnie. Poor guy doesn't much like it. He arches his neck weird and his eyes bug out and he puts his head on my shoulder and looks at me like "Why?!!! Whatta I do??" But beauty is everything and it is a necessary evil! I try to make it as pleasant as I can with scratches in between, carrots and peppermints and doing very little strands at a time- YANK! :-) Last night I didn't do much yanking though, I have a blade comb and clippers and I was able to hack off a bunch of it.

Less was selected once again as a horse model:-) This time he got to have a photo shoot with both vets. Sigh, I knew I should have pulled his mane this past weekend :-x
I "touched up" his mane in Corel paint, but it was too late, the pic had already been sent to the magazine...