Thursday, May 29, 2008

Let's talk about sheaths...baby

Sigh. When does a person truly become *CrazySheathCleaningLady*? :-x I have cleaned 2 sheaths 2 days in a row. It seems like when ever the BO walks into the barn now I'm up to my elbows in a sheath! and of course they [the horses] can't keep a straight face, they cock their heads (no pun intended)and twiddle their little noses in glee. *CSCL* isn't something I have set out to become.

PoloMan hadn't been *cleaned* in IDKwhen? Course I would have been the only one to take on the task and I can't remember the last time. Guess I always felt he had to be *liquored* up first, but he doesn't. Tuesday when I went to take his fly wraps off he was standing there letting *it* all out so I took that as a hint and broke out the baby oil, Excalibur and rubber gloves. I was surprised that P-Lo was so OK about the whole thing, he didn't try to kick or swat me with his tail, he just let me do my *work*. I even got the beans!

And then last night when I was brushing Lester he hiked up his right hind leg as if to say "clean me too please" (I told Polo not to tell Less about his *cleaning*, but he obviously did) . My Lester is the dirtiest boy on the planet! :-o Every night in the pasture Less must say "bet I can get more dirt in my sheath than you can", and he is clearly the winner.

Maybe I'm making up for lost time now:-/ I must have had Lester a few years before I ever thought about going *there*. When ever I went near *it* I got the tail and hind leg. So I left *it* alone. Until one day I noticed Less had a huge swelling in his tummy area. Vet came out and said the edema was caused by infection due to his dirty sheath :-x So I got the bad horse mommy award that day:-( My vet (who was young and hott BTW) liquored Lester up and we both sat there and waited for Lester to relax and drop so he could clean him. [insert dead silence or whistling] Talk about *awkward* and leave it to me to add to the awareness, I asked "How often do you cleans yours"? I meant his horses'.... sigh.

So have I really become *CSCL*? What truly makes a person CSCL? I do technically still ride my horse and do other things at the barn. Just because I am gifted or possess *this* particular skill AND have a *dirty* horse does this make me CSCL?

I started thinking last night if I lost my day job could this be a new career for me? Could I take my act out on the road (ok BAD choice of words there), but you know what I mean. And what would I call myself or what would my business name be?
ETA: WHY do posts not seem too long or big until you publish them?! :-o I just wrote 6 paragraphs about sheaths?? :-o I've really lost it:-(

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mount Up!



Notice that his legs didn't move once in the sequence of the photos ;-) I LOVE that about him!
Disclaimer: I DID NOT request photos to be taken of my ass, but since Matt took them I thought I would post Lester's outstanding mounting manners.
Notice the yellow tag on my breeches, when Petsmart was selling out of their Stateline Tack stuff I got those for $.01, a penny! So I keep the $99.00 price tag on there for show;-) oh and those Devonaire boots cost me $25 there also...I love closeout sales and cashiers that don't give a damn!:-)


Friday, May 23, 2008

What a difference(s) a year makes...

A year ago today was Lester's (first) homecoming from Auburn, 11 days after his colic surgery. Would have been his only HCing *if* I hadn't left him with too much hay the first night and had had him on ulcer medication/ preventive. His second trip back was when this whole blog began... Thought I would post pics from this past year...When Lester coliced, Laura from him near the "watering hole" in the big pasture. He was rolling and thrashing on the wet ground and just tore his face up. These wounds have all healed up and didn't leave one scar. Same with his incision sight, no scar there either. There is no evidence on him that would make one think he almost died last year. I was told many times that horses that have colic due to epiploic foramen entrapment and have surgery don't make it a year:-( So being 11 days past the year mark, can I do dare say we are out of the woods? I'm not stupid, I know he could colic, be injured or become sick tomorrow, but I guess now it would not be *tied* to his colic surgery.

I remember saying to Matt when we were in the waiting room at Auburn when Lester first went to surgery, "I always thought Spooky would go first." Not that I wanted her to be in his *place* at that moment at all, I certainly didn't, I just had myself prepared that she would pass on first. And that is what happened, 9 months later Matt and I had to let her go:-( My heart still breaks over her, I love(d) her more than I even wanted to or planned on loving her. I know that sounds strange, I just have always had a way of trying to *protect* my feelings and when she turned out to be the*heart hound of my life* I knew I was going to hurt like hell when I lost her. She was always just *there*. Lester's colic was a blessing in disguise in many ways. It woke me up to the fact I could lose someone I loved *any day*any time* and that the things I thought were important really weren't. I made a point to spend extra quiet moments with both Less and Spooky. During Less' grazing sessions Spooky was there with me and I would sit with her and just watch her and think how lucky I am to have such wonderful beings in my life. I would watch her "sun" herself and roll over on her back and scratch it and ever so often she'd get the courage to come near the *monster* (Lester's front end) and get scratches from me. Sometimes if the weather was cool enough she'd get the "zoomies" and just run around us, course Lester still just grazed away, couldn't have cared less there was Spooky whizzing 40mph right by him:-)
She would get so wound up and I could straddle her and hold her chest in my arms like I was preparing to release her to chase a lure and I'd shout "GO!" and open my arms and she would take off only to spin back around to get set up for another "release" :-) we would do that over and over again, it always cracked me up.
If I lost Lester today I would be more OK with it now then I would have a year ago. Again, not saying that is what I want, I'm just saying I have grown enough this year to know in my heart and mind that I haven't wasted a day with him. What does that mean? Well it means that I appreciate all the little things about him, things that would have possibly bored me in the past or I wouldn't have even taken the time to notice. I ride him more and spend more time with him now. Not saying I don't get mad at him from time :-) it's just now I can't stay mad at him...I just am not letting regrets happen with him. You just aren't going to hear me say "I wish I had spent more time with him and loved on him more." I have a few regrets with Spooky and it kills me that I can't make them up to her now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Greeting Committee

Lester and I have done this "greeting" job several times (wow and this time we got paid!). We stand at the front gate and wave to the people driving in. They wanted us up there starting our greeting at 6pm and I felt pressed for time :-x Kirsten and I agreed to not braid the horses manes because I wasn't going to have the time to do it coming from work and she wasn't going to have time coming from school...Too bad we didn't know the first person wasn't going to show up until 6:30! In order to stick with the color scheme I had to use a "hunter" pad which worried me the whole time. I felt like any minute his girth would start pinching sense part of the saddle billet was right next to his body. I also didn't get to really warm him up before heading up to just *sit* on his back. I had wanted to lunge him or work him a little bit to loosen up his back some. He was very good for the most part, did his job of mostly just having to stand around. Sometimes people have their windows down so you can talk to them and "greet" them, but most of the time not. One car drove in with some kids and the dad asked "Is this Dairy Queen"? I said, "No, it's the petting zoo, would you like to pet the horsies?" Course the kiddies did and they got out of the car, I had some sugar cubes in my pocket so I let them feed a couple to Less. Both horses were very good and stood like perfect gents, but a motorcycle went whizzing by and Less did turn to look at it, scared us all really, but luckily-he didn't-but if Less had swung his butt around more he would have just hit the car and not hurt the kids, would have scared mommy in the car, but that would have been better than stomping one of the kids. But again, Less just turned and looked, no harm done :-)
I sat on him for OVER an hour :-o and I don't even work him for that long! My left ankle was cramping and hurting and I know his back was getting tired. Less turned around and headed for the barn, he was done and so was I. At that point I hopped off, he got a bit jiggy and it certainly wasn't worth fighting over.

Me, Kirsten, Lester and Chase preforming our greeting duties
@one point the horses turned their heads and touch noses, but the "photographer" wouldn't take the shot cuz he said they looked "gay" :-x
Could have been a cute shot!

Pretty huh? I was asking him to step over closer to Chase

Perfect equitation:-)


Less is done:-)

Man I'm crooked!


Monday, May 19, 2008

Spring Pics

I have an awful time of trying to take pics of Lester unless Less is doing what he does best, eating:-)

This one just makes me bust out LOLing :-D


Wish I hadn't chopped his ears off in this one...


This one doesn't even "look" like him



Concentrating on chewing...



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Pre-riding rituals

So Monday Less Man got the day off, he deserved it. He celebrated with a Reese's p-butter cup- he loves'em! I love'm too so he has to share.
On Tuesday he was pretty "trippy" with his hindend at the walk and trot. He got better though and didn't stumble at all in the canter. He *spooked* :-o though and I don't know what it was about, it wasn't a big one, and we were at a walk- just a hard stop and small turn.
He seems to be a bit more "girfy" (I like to replace th's with f's :-) at the moment. Is it due to shedding his coat out? Due to muscle development? Has he gotten way thinner and I haven't figured out what hole the girf should be on? I had to learn the hard way that Less is a gify boy- too lose and too tight are both equally as bad in his opinion. I've learned to position him so that he can walk off straight and get a "feel" for it after the first few girf ups, he also gets treats, either a carrot or sugar so that he's taken a breathe and not holding it in all this fuss seems to help on most days. If not this is what happens. First his eyes get really big and you can see the panic in his face, then you hear the sigh/squeal/grunt, then comes the *bow* (which would be rather cute and impressive if it wasn't followed by more squealing and a leap forward) :-/ most times after this I can settle him, but sometimes I have to start the whole process over again- sounds kinda lengfy, but it's not. I've got this ritual down to a science. After we leave the barn I tighten it the last few holes and make sure the saddle isn't sitting right on his shoulders and withers- yay I learned how to put on a saddle last year um about 20 years too late :-x I then proceed and buckle that stupid strap on the dressage pro Wintec that goes around the girf to hold your flaps down- for 11 years I have said I'm going to cut it off. If I don't lunge him I always trot him in hand before I get on, here's why :-) Yesterday's tacking up went pretty fine, I got a couple of those *looks* , but he walked off calmly and we made it out to the riding area. We did are usual *pivots* and turns to reintroduce Less to his back legs and he did those with no prob, walking -no prob. I go to jog him and he *blew up*, squealed and just rounded his back and *hopped* high into the air, I don't' even think it was a buck. He did it again. We walked some more and then I jogged him again, head shake, but no hop. Walked, jog again and he's fine :-) I never get on him until he will pick up the trot in hand nicely and calmly and comfortably.
He was a bit full of himself yesterday, but they stayed in all day, it was cool out and the Event tent was delivered... he was very forward,round and he wasn't stumbly, but he just seemed really keyed up. We went and scoped out the event tent which really got him worried, but he didn't spook so I was proud of him for that. He'd prefer people be in the tent I think, it's really *scary* when it looks like the tent ate up all the people that should be in there.

Conformation shot, feel free to critique, (I know your first instinct is to say how purty he is )I don't know much about confo and don't care, esp with him... and he looks grumpy because I made him stand there without being allowed to graze on that yummy grass, I know I'm so mean....

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's been a YEAR!

TODAY marks 1 year since Lester had his life saving surgery! I have to admit this makes me both ecstatic and a little nervous...I just don't want to jinx us. This year with Lester has been incredible and amazing, it was like getting to know him all over again and I am thankful for every day we are given now. It took me almost losing him to wake my ass up and appreciate him for well him! As we got closer and closer to this date I started to worry some, something this time last year caused him to colic. I know the vets said nothing I did made him colic and that it's something that just happened, but it's my nature to over think things. Less had lots of hurdles he had to pass and one of the big ones was time! VERY HAPPY 1 YEAR LESTER, HIS FIRST REBIRTHDAY!
If you're curious and haven't done so already you can scroll to the bottom and read about that fateful day or you can click here and read all my posts on the Ultimate Dressage BB as things happened... my username is LESSISMORE17 ;-)

I just can't even express in words how happy and thankful I am and how much I LOVE this guy!


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blown Away!

That title can describe the kind of day it was (very windy) and how I feel about Lester! The wind gusts were 25 to 40 mph and I rode him anyway. He didn't bat an eye at anything, the trees were blowing hard and he didn't shy once! We did walk, trot and canter both directions. He was soft in my hands and willing as can be, in fact I haven't worn riding gloves in a week now, he simply just doesn't pull anymore. Sure he's still a bit stiff to the right, but it is no where near as bad as it was... I rode him on Friday and he was a perfect pony then too. His canters were absolutely amazing, I could have cantered him forever, he was round, "up" and working off his hindend. I have always loved his canter, when we showed way back when he used to score a couple of "8's" back in the dressage show days;-) I even asked him to canter a couple of sepentines on his left lead which is difficult on a horse because this can really throw them off balance and they will swap leads or break to the trot. He didn't falter:-) After a ride like that was it possible I could love, enjoy and appreciate him more? Yes! I also rode him up the driveway for our cool down. We have an Event to get ready for, we are part of the equestrian greeting committee next Friday for a rehearsal dinner at the farm and then again for the Wedding in 2 weeks. We just get decked out in the show gear and smile and point to where the guests need to park. I hadn't taken him around the farm in a while so we needed some practice. He was a little tense going over the bridge, he almost felt like "ok I should be spooking now, but..."- it's like not in him anymore to spook. I know he will spook again at something, but it's not at *nothing* anymore :-) We got over the bridge fine and he relaxed some. The funny thing is when we turned around and headed back towards the barn he relaxed even more and was slower than he was going up the driveway.
Tomorrow marks 1 year since Lester had his colic surgery! I'll of course have alot more to say on that subject.
This photo is from John and Laura Parker's wedding in 2004, Less and I preforming one of our Equestrian Greeting committee duties...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wittle noses...

Pony noses are just about the cutest things on the planet, they are like pathetic little elephant trunks....I snagged Lester another chocolate chip cookie from an office meeting...

video

This is Polo's fungus. It comes every year and stays from Spring till the end of Summer, really till the hot weather ends. We've tried just about everything on this damn fungus and I'm still ready to try anything. So now we will try Grandpa's Soap made with pine tar, suggested by a fellow blogger... Everyday I have checked Polo for ticks and have given him a good scratch, and I even had to *pop* some of the bumps -ICK! He didn't mind though! Gawd I hate ticks! I've only found 1 on Less so far and I check him everyday.

PLo's wittle nose! So cute. Oh here's a video of PLo walking, not too purty:-(

Well I didn't ride Less last night. I got to the barn and there was a storm threatening to hit so I just bit him up in the surcingle and side-reins and first just hill walked and trotted with him until I about broke my ankle so I put him on the lunge line and had him trot alittle by himself on the hill slope. Looked pretty darn sound too. He and Polo have been on the B-L Pellets 2 days now.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

*Muscle* Sheet

So a blogger recently asked me what benefits I thought, if any, came from using the Magnetic sheet on Lester. The description from the link sounds magical, but I did a little more research on magnetic therapy and found this. Not too impressive :-/ Like I said before, I bought this sheet a long time ago and have just now started to use it. I'm not convinced it does *nothing*, it still looks *hott* on him;-) see pics for ref. IMO though, you could probably spend $180+ on something more beneficial to your pony...
I might not use it as religiously anymore, just throw it on him from time to time when I want to show off his muscles (pronounced "musk-ells").

A friend of mine recently brought up B-L Pellets for her older, lameish horse. It's main ingredient is Devil's Claw , a natural pain reliever. In fact the Horse Journal says it can be as effective as bute! So I have put both Lester and Polo on these pellets, it smells herbalicious and they ate it right up. I have had Lester on Supple Horse, a Chinese herb, recommended by his massage/ chiro therapist. I do think it helped, BUT I am really excited to try the B-L Pellets as it gives pain *relief*. Plus I can order the pellets online or buy them from local tack stores- we have 2 in our town now!:-o

Lester the PonyMan has been FABULOUS these past few rides. He is forward without me having to do any encouraging. Even at the walk he is *marching* and striding out on his own. I know I shouldn't dare say this, but this guy has been solid and hasn't spooked in, IDKwhen!
Yesterday he thought about spooking and then was like "oh that's nothing"! I was so proud of him :-o He did trip 2-3 times and lose his hind end, so much one time that it threw him into the canter, but for the most part he was super round and soft. His canters have been amazing. I've been doing canter from the walk transitions to strengthen his hindend some, cuz they have to kinda *sit* for it and power off their haunches. We have done hill work too, but only at the walk for now.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

75% better!

Isn't Lester sexy looking in his fishnet sheet? That's his magnetic sheet that I put on him while I tack up, course I have to pull it back to his haunches when it's time for the saddle.

Dr. Matt was at the farm when I got there Friday- his wife is boarding her mare in the back pasture so he's there a lot. He takes a general interest in Less which is nice. I lunged him in side reins while Dr. Matt watched and he made the comment that he is at least 75% better! He said he looked pretty good, but that he had really weak ligaments in the hind end, and perhaps that is why he trips alot. He suggested hill work to tighten them up. Less has felt really good lately, he isn't fighting on the right rein nearly as much as he's used to. When I rode yesterday I had my Matt video us. I can still see some head bobbing and some short strides, but I do believe he is better:-) You decide.

Video from Feb 15 vs. Video from yesterday

I haven't been asking much of Less. His being *light* in my hands is all I ask for, I know he looks heavy on the forehand. In time I'll ask him for more.

I meant to give an update on Polo in my last post. He is still lame :-/ We don't have a clue what it is. X-rays showed nothing. He's not a good candidate for stall rest so we have continued to turn him out. I washed his right hind leg off again and doctored it because it was swollen again, but I know it's not *that* causing the real pain. Poor guy had so many tick bites on his thighs and between his but cheeks. I scrubbed and scratched and his little nose went to town with his head in the air, moment of sheer bliss:-) He's not one to really show emotion or admit he *likes* you or what you do for him, so it's always nice to see him react in a good way.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I so needed this!

Pony Man Lester was perfect last night :-D I rode him for the first time since Sunday. It's been a *trying* week to say the least. I went to the barn each night, but did nothin' but hug him. I lunged him Monday and Tuesday, but it was pretty short and unimpressive. Last night I lunged him first in side reins to warm him up a bit and then hopped on. He didn't want to flex much at first, but by the end of the ride he was flexing quite nice and out of my hands, whether it was dressage worthy, I don't care, it felt great. I did feel like he was stiff *off* some in his right front, but I also felt him *reaching* more, a bit like testing the waters.
Gigi has gone to a new home in TN with her very own sister, Miami Picture. It's a good match, she'll be loved. I need to get an update too see how things are going, but I have been out of touch with reality all week.

Matt and I will continue to foster, my heart isn't in it to *accept* another grey at this time, which makes us good candidates to foster right now.