Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Boys

Pedro and Duncan are getting along well. They aren't best friends but I think the potential is there. Duncan is pushy because he's scared (usually the low man in the herd), and Pedro only slightly responds to his snarky looks. Pedro is a bold soul.

Pedro is also a shameless beggar.
 He always knows when I have treats.

Speaking of treats, using them as a reward during hoof handling lessons with Duncan is turning out to be only slightly helpful, so I'm changing tactics. If he can't hold still, I'll move him a little more than he wants to. We'll see how it goes. He's so sensitive, and yet kind of resistant. I have to be very careful about how I present my energy, while also expecting specific results. I guess that's true of any interaction with any horse, you just have to dial it up or down according to the situation and individual.

Huckleberry and Blue are still having the same armed truce they usually do. They still aren't allowed to go outside together, but inside they're ok.

My back is still pretty fragile but I'm trying to get back to life as usual. I have the next week off of work because my boss is on vacation. Hopefully I'll be good as ever by the time I go back. I need to start doing some strengthening exercises, but as with the horse work, it's a bit of a balancing act between benefit and damage.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

It's been a rough couple of weeks but this morning I actually feel kind of good.

Pedro is doing fine without Bob. I kept the horses next to him for 2 weeks and now I'm trying out having him and Duncan live together, since Bella and Scout don't like either of them very much. (Bella tolerates them and Scout is kind of a jerk.) It's going well so far. Duncan claimed the right to move Pedro, but they're sticking loosely together.

My two Aussie dogs, Huckleberry and Blue, tried to kill each other last weekend. Bastards. I know better than to stick my hands in the middle of a dog fight, but I did try my damnedest to break it up by lifting them bodily by their back skin, pulling on hind legs, smacking, kicking. I almost grabbed a shovel to beat them with, but I didn't want to hurt them and I didn't think it would get through to them.  Winston got involved, trying to help me, but luckily only ended up with a couple punctures to his jowls. I finally screamed to the house for help, but it took incredibly long for anyone to hear me and get outside. When John came out it distracted them and they separated, and I laid down on Huckleberry while he got the other two inside.

Huck ended up with some severe bruising, a tear, and 2 big punctures in his leg, plus some other superficial stuff. He's healing well on antibiotics. He sure looked ridiculous wearing a shirt to keep him from licking.

Blue had some minor injuries but he's ok.

If they weren't so fluffy they would have done a lot more damage to each other.

We're not letting them out together anymore. They're mostly fine in the house, aside from a few dirty looks. They really don't like each other. Blue is a jerk, an Huck doesn't always want to take it. This is nothing new, just much worse this time.

That was the closest I've ever been to using hysterical strength, repeadly lifting two 70 pound dogs who were latched together at the face. My fingernails were bruised from gripping and pulling so hard. I ended up with my lungs compromised from breathing so hard for so long  in the cold air and serious back pain. I couldn't even sit down comfortably. Today I'm starting to almost feel human again. Almost. It feels good.

I wonder, did my involvement in the fight possibly make it worse? If I had walked away maybe they would have stopped. For sure Winston wouldn't have gotten involved. What do you think?

The weather is finally bearable today. I've been out to socialize with the equines 3 times already. :)

Ears to longer days!

Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Much happiness to all, no matter your favorite holiday.

Monday, December 14, 2015

I might be gone a while

I think I'll probably be taking a break from the blog for a bit. It's time to put Bob down and I can barely stand it. He can't get up anymore without hurting himself. He has big sores on his hocks and one leg is very swollen, hot, and painful.

I'm not sure how Pedro is going to handle it. He's still not well himself, and I think he is going to be very unhappy from here on out.

Knowing it was coming sure doesn't make it any easier.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

The wind and the rain and the hail come high

We don't have hail, but we have wind and rain in abundance. I swear, I'm not a total slacker. I just don't like working with the horses when it's windy and wet and cold. Which is why I haven't been writing much. 

I do have photographic evidence of the disgusting weather. Sopping wet horses. Of course they refuse to stand inside.

Today we might see a lot of downed trees and wind damage, as the whole region did a few weeks ago. I'm crossing my fingers my friends and family and we will come through it unscathed again. I am always so thankful that our water is gravity-fed, if the power goes out. 

What do you do on days when it's too disgusting outside? I read a lot, whine a lot, cook, and sometimes condition tack. I like to crochet but haven't got much use for the finished products. Maybe I should make an afghan. What I really should do is clean my house. Blech.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Slacking & Laminitis

I've had a cold, so I've been taking it easy and I haven't done much of anything with Duncan other than feed him.

Yesterday I got him out and we went for a very brief walk, then "worked" in the round pen. It wasn't really work. I asked him to do a little moving around in a circle on-line, then worked with handling his feet. He did great! He picked up his front feet like any horse would. Hind feet we're still working on, but we made progress there as well.

On another note, Pedro had a pretty painful lamimitis episode after I confined him for the leg injury. All I did was restrict his movement and give him more grass hay. Recipe for disaster, it turns out. He wasn't in the classic laminitic stance, and he didn't spend all his time lying down, but he was really hurting.

Now I'm soaking his hay (which is super fun in the winter), he has lots of soft bedding, and a higher dose of Bute. Oh, and a fair amount of magnesium. He seems fine now, when the ground isn't frozen.

I really do think he probably has cushings. I should start researching that again. It's been years since I knew anything much about it. I know the standard treatment is expensive and sometimes impossible to get, but there are other options... Hmmm...

Oh! And Friday morning, Bella had a spectacular lapse of good judgement. I would really like to know why. She went throught the fence and actually broke a t-post below the ground. I can't fathom why she would do that. She doesn't have any visible injuries although I'm sure she probably has some bruises I can't see. Luckily the boys didn't get out and I was still able to get to work before the clinic opened, if not as early as I like to get there.

Equines do keep life interesting. What would I do without them?