Thursday, January 28, 2010

Midterm Week Review ;)

Bonjour, ma amies! Oui, je prends l'examen francais aujourd'hui. :)
(I know; my french stinks)
All done. Stick it in a translator...or use common sense ;).

Helloooo (in native language)! I should start writing in German...hmm...well, anywhoo. I had midterm week this week, so besides Monday I had the second half of Tuesday and Thursday off, all of Wednesday, and tomorrow I technically have off but I'm going to a pretty longgg choir practice. But ANYHOW, I had lots of fun riding this week! First, we start with a little story from wayyy back last Saturday.

Daisy has a stall issue. She constantly tries to rush into her stall at Jean's farm, and she'll run you along the wall if you don't watch out. Jean doesn't allow anyone besides herself or another experienced adult lead her (besides me, of course) into the stall because she's gotten away with it too many times. She just gets rushy, and it's all Daisy can do to keep herself at a walk. So, last Saturday she was behaving just like that with Jean, and Jean made her walk and got her in the stall, but Daisy was in a big hurry to turn around and get to her hay that she spun so fast she wiped out, no kidding. Jean says she fell over completely, had a sort of stunned look on her face for a millisecond, and then scrambled up. Daisy *strongly dislikes* being seen lying down :P. Needless to say, she seemed a little sore riding on Sunday, but not too horrible. She has also gotten much better about going in her stall, with the help of a chain lead. She doesn't rush in or spin fast at all. I guess sometimes you just gotta learn the hard way ;).

I didn't get to ride on Monday, came back Tuesday and worked her pretty hard at the canter. I've had comments from more then one person saying that Daisy is much calmer this year and collected. She collects so nicely at the canter these days; not rushy at all like last winter. She collects beautifully at all gaits, really. I suppose I should clarify, however, when I say "collect" I don't mean stepping under nice dressage collect (Sheesh...I wish!), I just mean, she's much slower and more controlled. I'm very proud of her these days, with the control and her getting "on" the bit so much.

Wednesday was quite a fun day! A member of the Yautzy Road Yahoos, our 4H club, who rides at Jean's farm received an early birthday gift! She'd been taking lessons on Jean's (technically new) Morgan mare, about 24 years, for a couple months and really liked her; the Morgan is quite showy, and this rider just clicks with her, you can tell. After a bit of grooming and ribbon tying, Jean and I hid behind a feed bin in a stall and watched as said rider walked in to find her favorite lesson pony in the crossties with a big bow around her neck and a sign that asked "Will you be my human?". Of course, it was an adorably sweet moment. I taped it...not sure if I'll put it on here, though. In any case, it was sooo nice to see :). We rode after that, and then went to horsebowl (topic: skeletal and muscular system).

Today was collldddd ( about 12 degrees during the day; 8 degrees currently), and we got a blizzard sorta thing, and after our language tests, my friend and I headed to the barn. We mucked a couple stalls, and then rode Daisy. The arena was loud today with all the wind and snow falling off the roof, and Daisy was actually nervous (which rarely happens). I had to walk her past the shaking and creaking "doors of doom" (also known as the horse-eating entrance) a few times inside before she calmed down enough to ride. I got on, got her a job, and warmed her up and she was ok. When I felt she was doing good, my friend (who's been taking weekly lesson about 3 years) got on. I warned her to stop any time the arena got real loud, but there were no problems, and only one time did we need to do that, at which point the human door of the arena (which is handle-less :P) flung open with a startling noise. Daisy tensed a little and looked up all alert, but she didn't move, and it turned out fine. My friend walked and trotted her, and it was pretty cool to see my horse being ridden from the ground. Two things that really stuck out: her hind end seems to have very little muscle, so she doesn't step under much (however I have been doing the exercises :)) and she has an absolutely beautiful long tail that kinda waves behind her when she trots :). I knew there was a reason why I am adamant about long manes and tails ;).

Also, concerning our goals for 2010 (I haven't forgotten) Daisy can pretty much perfectly do a turn on the forehand to the left, and almost perfectly to the right. Turn on the hindquarters is another story; she sorta does it, but she's confused because she thinks I'm asking for a side pass :-/...And I've been working on flying lead changes over poles in the arena that are set up in a pattern-y-thing (Maybe I'll draw a diagram at some point :P) and she does really well over poles (gets the leads I'd say 90% of the time) but won't do a thing on the flat...any tips?

Alright, sorry this is sorta long...Do you like my new layout?
Hope you're staying warm tonight wherever you are!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foaming: Myth or Truth?

I've been told a few times that a horse foams at the mouth when the rider has soft hands and the horse is relaxed...question is, is this true? Do any of you out there know (have proof?)? I just wondered...Daisy's been foaming a lot lately, particularly today when we worked on flying lead one point, so much foam was dripping from her mouth that it flew up and hit her in the face :P.

I'm using a stainless steel bit in the photos above (Doesn't copper make horses foam? B/c I use a copper Tom Thumb for western or a copper curb and Daisy never foamed).
Just a question for thought... :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Watch 'er Go Video :)

It's done!
Sorry I added some extra, unnecessary stuff; I couldn't help myself. This was fun :)

And if you don't like the music, just turn the volume down. I just didn't want it to be silent in the back round :)
I like the ending, in case you want to know.
And if it says "still processing" check back a little later.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Super Sunday.... :D

I had an absolutely wonderful Sunday, pretty much, so I just had to share about it.
Daisy was trailered to board at Jean's on Thursday afternoon. I rode on Thursday and Friday, Saturday I didn't make it to the barn, and then I went today after church.

I ordered the above cooler from (AWESOME site; lots and lots of sales alllll the time) for $34 about a week ago, and it finally arrived Saturday and I tried it out today...I apologize for the picture quality, I took it with my phone. :) It looks sorta silly like that, but it's contoured and I'm glad I have it, because Daisy sweats a ton in winter, and it helps to get the sweat off. They didn't have it in red, so I had to settle for blue. :)

I got to the barn, unblanketed her, tried the cooler on, and then finished grooming and got on to ride. Daisy was very agreeable during grooming already; she leaned into the brush like she was loving it and she wasn't really girth-y today during saddling, either.

I headed out to the arena and was alone for the first half hour. I got on, and warmed up slowly, first walking and having her get on the bit at the walk, then slowly the trot. With the new Kimberwicke, she's on the bit a LOT more often, but she's not necessarily stepping through, which stinks...I'm hoping to take dressage lesson soon to see what I can do about that. I got her going and some nice trots in both directions while on the bit the majority of the time, and practiced getting nice round circles. Then I got a nice trot on a small circle going left, and asked for her left lead. She got it and after a little bit actually got on the bit for one of the first times cantering; yey! It didn't last for long periods, she'd get on the bit only for a few strides at a time, but it's improvement! I had her collecting her canter, and then I changed directions and trotted, then cantered right. She's generally really speedy going right because no matter what, it's still not her favorite side. I was really happy today, though, because she collected herself at the right lead much better then usual.

After that, I kinda made up a dressage test for myself :P and ran through it, changing directions and diagonals and canter leads and circling and even tried a free walk and such...she was sooo good!

Eventually Oliver (Jean's son) and Sarah (a 4H-er) came in on their ponies, and I rode with them a bit, got off to do some groundwork, and ended up quitting that and just walking around with Daisy following me. Generally, if I walk around without holding Daisy, she doesn't follow me. Even if we've just done a join-up, she'll only follow me for a little while before stopping or heading for the gate. Today, I did NO join up and she followed me everywhere! I used a lot of body language and had her pivoting on the ground just by stepping toward her, and turned circles and walked one direction, walked another, and she always followed! At the end, I walked toward the door, but stopped in the middle of the ring, said "whoa" and she stopped, too! If I'd been her I woulda kept goin' for the door :P.

So I had a wonderful ride :)

Just wanted to ask, does anyone know of specific problems a horse could have in a leg that's NOT hoof related that could throw off their leads (like Daisy's right lead) or make them stumble a bit while turning? I just know that if I take a dressage lesson, the trainer will jam on me that Daisy's hooves are making her "off" when she makes a tight turn to the right, but that can't be possible because her hooves are wonderful right now; no bruising whatsoever. She's had that funny stumbling turn problem since last winter at least, which is why I know the trainer will bring it up. Daisy's canter to the right is also "funny"; to me it just seems speedy, but another rider told me that she looks like she's throwing her front right out really far, like it looks stiff, when she canters on it. Frankly, it ticks me off that said trainer right away assumes it's her hooves simply because she's barefoot, because it could equally be any other part of her leg/body. Can she just have some sort of leg abnormality? I have no idea what it would be...this is probably silly, but could she have a shorter right leg or something? :P Or is it beginning arthritis (She's only 11, though)? Should I try joint supplement?

On another note, I dissected a horse leg at a vet clinic yesterday (Saturday)! It was quite an experience, but very very cool...sad, but cool. I learned a lot about the leg, and it was really interesting to see everything underneath the skin and hair :P. Some say that's gross; to a point, it is, but I thought it was a great learning experience that isn't offered often and I'm glad I went.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just a Laugh...

People who own horses know that colic can certainly be something to take seriously...however, it's important to have a good laugh once in awhile, too. Enjoy :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Goodbye, Bella...

She was one of Jean's lesson horses...the best of them all. Jean often says she needs "another Bella" because Bella was the best of all the in a million.
She was euthanized this morning after getting sick and going down hill very quickly yesterday...she was in her thirties. She will be thoroughly missed by all of the Yautzy Road Yahoos...
To see more posts that involve Bella, check here.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mellimaus Really Regrets...

Painting by Katie^

Cookies for Daisy^

No, she is not angry in this picture...she's begging, but so distracted by the new treats, she forgot the "look cute" aspect...^

In the snow, January 6th, 2010^ and below

...Not doing a decent update-post for about two months...or three...
So now I get to update you. I may repeat stuff from my lammmeeeooooooo update video below...
This is kinda a journal update for as usual, if you read the entire thing, it's not because I'm making ya or expect you to :P

November I went to a tack sale and got some stuff...including a new bridle. I priced it online and it would have been a minimum of $80. I got it for?! $40. It's brand new, VERY well made, with padded browband, noseband, and that part behind her ears...(Whatever that's called ;)) and I absolutely LOVE it. It's a little annoying right now because the leather isn't broken in, plus it's sooo cold outside, so strapping it up is kinda annoying...but very worth it.

Christmas came...just beforehand, a dear friend from my parent's restaurant, a waitress, gave me a painting of Daisy she's been working on...the picture does not do it justice. It lacks the depth that the picture really has when you see's beautiful; when I was little, my friend had a horse and someone painted it for her, and I remember thinking that was so cool at the I have one! :)

Daisy got a cute Mrs. Pasture's Cookies for Horses gift container for Christmas...(technically gifted to me :P) and she loooovved those cookies! All gone now :(. But I saved the container. :)
She also got a Likit treat in her stocking and was very offended...pinned her ears worse then usual and refused to go near her food bin...I mean, come on...Excuse ME for assuming you liked horse treats! She got over it after awhile...but it took a few hours for her to realize the Likit was edible! :P

The vet came in...I think early December, on a Saturday. It was the first time I called the vet for something other then vaccinations, and I actually got a new vet because my old one apparently doesn't serve my area anymore... :/

I called because Daisy had been pretty regularly getting colic-y and one night she got to a point where she had "gut sounds" (which is what you want to be able to hear) but was really uncomfortable and pawing and I walked her up and down and up and down the 1/4 mile driveway over and over and it didn't get I got the vet to come out two days later...still not completely sure what good it did. We ruled out ulcers through checking her feces for blood...and we discussed perhaps discomfort from eating dead leaves (possible), or through something called a granulosa-theca cell tumor, which is pretty much an ovarian tumor that's benign. She said she didn't have an ultrasound machine and could ultrasound for it in a few weeks. I didn't know really what she was talking about (researched it a bit since, especially in Equus magazine issue number 367, April 2008, article called "How to Mellow Your Moody Mare") and wasn't really interested in spending extra money to check it without thinking it was really possible...she also said that it could have something to do with a heat some point, she said a treatment for some sort of thing could be inserting a glass marble into Daisy's uterus to make Daisy think she was pregnant and make her stop cycling...weird...but since I've read it more it does make sense...

Three days later she called and left a message on my phone discussing Selenium deficiency. She said we could test Daisy's blood and the ground to see the levels of selenium in her blood. When I first got Daisy, a few people told me there was a selenium deficiency in the soil around our area...but after looking it up online now that doesn't seem the case...question being, trust people's answer's or Internet? In any case, I read up on symptoms of selenium deficiency...a few people describe it as a problem that is often mistaken as signs of both colic and tying up syndrome...both of which I thought Daisy had signs of. I found this article, and it seems to be just what it's talking about:
What caught my eye was this:
The interesting thing about selenium deficiency is that it is found in horses who tie up. Unlike colic, tieing up is not about the gut but about the muscles. Muscles will get too much lactic acid buildup. You will often see a horse's muscles quiver or become rigid and hard. Sometimes they sweat profusely even though the have done little work. After much more reading about this condition I found an article that talked about how horses will stretch out as if to urinate, but it's only to relieve the pain and tenseness in their back muscles. Bingo!.......I have not had any problems. I've started a new regimen of grass hay only, low-carb grain products with no added sugars(mollasses)and I also feed Mezotrace minerals with added selenium. So far my gelding has not exhibited any more signs of discomfort.

I've had some questions about why Daisy would stretch out the way she did/does(?), and Mrs. Mom pointed me to tying-up syndrome.
I've added a selenium block to Daisy's stall besides her regular trace mineral block and she licks it almost every night...She hasn't "coliced" since...this does not necessarily mean that that's what it was, because it snowed soon after the vet appointment so she stopped eating dry leaves as well...However, I remember Daisy used to lick the ground a lot (literally lick the dirt) and, until she ate all the bark off the trees, she used to eat tree bark (this during the first/part of the second year I had her) and she never really got colic-y during that I wonder if she was getting selenium from there during that time...

I really don't know...but I have a lot of fun researching random stuff...Like I've read more about the granulosa-cell tumors, and symptoms include aggressive attitude (almost stallion-like), general irritability, and unwillingness to pick up certain leads (due to where the tumor is located)...for which you can have the tumor removed, as well as have a mare spayed (which is done very rarely in horses) that's just something for me to think about a little...I've only ever emailed with Daisy's original owner once, and she described Daisy as "disgruntled" when she was young as well, so I guess her attitude does not at all necessarily mean she has a tumor,'s still interesting.

Well...I think I pretty much covered anything...we have at least a foot of snow on the ground everywhere (I think more...idk...) and counting. I took Daisy out today and ground-worked her (haven't done that in forever) and worked on stopping with me, backing, side passing on the ground, and some work turning on the forehand, our goal for the winter :) (Along with hindquarters, which I tried from the ground, but she didn't understand what I was asking of her...). I lunged her in the snow, and towards the beginning, she was feelin' good (what's new? :P) and bucked and fell; slid on her knees and half her face ended up buried in snow...I was half worried, and half laughing really hard. She stood up, I checked her over and had her walk for me, she was fine, and then I just laughed ;). She had snow alllll over her face; looked really silly. I think she was embarrassed. We continued lunging, and she was extra careful after that...she did really well on the lunge. It was good to do something different, other then do nothing or go trail riding (which is nice, but not all the time). We both had some fun; I should do that more often.

And so, here I leave us, updated on the main points of the last two months...or at least, of what I can remember :P.

January 6th Video Update (Tuesday

I didn't get around to uploading this until now...I'm apologize for my absence of posts.... :P
Sorry the video's a little long...


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