Mr. Tay thought he would teach me how to wrap a bowed tendon this fall. When I had him down to the vets for his teeth he also got an acupuncture/chiropractic treatment and when she did the initial test his front right leg was coming up with issues. Sure enough she went down his leg to find a bowed tendon just below his knee. I had no idea it was even there or for how long. I pick his feet out every day so I am handling his legs but I never noticed! Then on the other hand it could have been quite recent. I also figured if it was a bowed tendon he would be lame but apparently it can happen without lameness. I cold hosed him and figure 8 wrapped it for two weeks and the swelling came down by about 50%. I kept him wrapped for four weeks then tried riding for 20 minute walks with one minute of trotting. Unfortunately after two days the swelling seemed to spread down the leg a bit so we are off riding until we can get an ultrasound or it hopefully heals over time off and being wrapped. He’s not overly happy about not getting out for rides but Ms. Winnie seems to be enjoying them for him. Hoping we don’t have to take the whole winter off but it will be what it will be.
I couldn’t believe it when I got back from holidays and worked with Mr. Tay and Ms. Winnie in the round pen! All I can say is WOW how amazing they both were! All the horse problems we were dealing with had just disappeared for this session. Tay did some great Liberty with the slightest ask and well Winnie was a totally different girl. I even asked her “Who are you and what have you done with Winnie?” She calmly went through the gate then just sniffed around waiting for me to ask her something. Normally this would be an opportunity to rip around. With my rope burn I could only do Liberty which we have done very little of. I got some beautiful circles with transitions up and down and change of direction. Awesome stick to me with even a bit of a canter! Then I asked for some figure eights at a walk which got accomplished with some loss of connection but still amazing considering. I have never seen them both so willing to please and Winnie so calm at Liberty. A little time off made all the difference and training a horse couldn’t be more rewarding.
Allergic reactions can be very scary which many of us know from having one ourselves or know of someone who has. The same goes for our horses and they can run from mild to severe. It’s so important to be aware of any changes in your horses’ diet or environment in the previous 48 to 72 hours of a reaction. Allergic reactions can be such a guessing game and if the reaction is severe we want to be able to pinpoint the cause. This poor horse MJ had quite a severe reaction with her whole head swelling and hives all over her. Unfortunately we live in a small town with no large animal vet so getting an antihistamine shot for her was not an option. Luckily a friend had a homeopathic allergy spray which seemed to help and her owner took her off the new hay that had been introduced into her diet. When MJ got a health assessment done her owner did find out it was something in the new hay that didn’t agree with her. She was put on a different homeopathic spray to bring down the left over inflammation under her belly and we are happy to say she is now back to normal.
Getting your horses teeth done is a necessary procedure as horses teeth are constantly erupting. Now what I have found interesting is the differences in manually floating your horse or power floating. Both procedures have there place but which one will you choose? From what I have learned a basic float is better off being done manually while extensive dentistry work would benefit from a power float. Also what I found interesting was when the procedure is being done it would be best not to have their head propped up on a stand because horse’s heads are very heavy and it’s easy for them to end up with chiropractic issues. Now power floating is much faster and physically easier on the dentist but is it really the best way to float your horses teeth? Get informed and make sure your horse isn’t having any TMJ pain after being power floated as it can be a result of over floating. Our horses can be very stoic at times and we may never even know the pain that they are enduring.
There are many of us that have never even heard of looking at our horses sweat pattern to see how well the saddle is fitting. If you are having some horse problems in this area you might want to take a look.
When you take the saddle off you want to look for areas that have dry spots which could mean your saddle was pinching your horse or it didn’t have enough contact. If it was pinching your horse on the front end he may eventually get white spots in that area. I use a pad that has air filled cells on each side and ventilation throughout the spine which stays dry because there’s no contact. As you can see from the picture below Mr. Tay didn’t have any dry spots and there was an even sweat pattern throughout the air cells other than I had the pad a little to the right, but overall a great fit!
A vet gave me some really good horse info. on how they determine if your horse is underweight or overweight. The system they use to determine this is called “Body Condition Scoring”. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. The system assigns a score to a particular body condition and works by assessing fat both visually and by palpation in each of six areas. Horses accumulate fat in these areas in a set order so breed doesn’t make a difference. The great thing about learning this system is that you can evaluate your horse at anytime and make changes to their program if needed. So now if I am in the market to go buy a horse I can assess its body condition myself!
Mr. Tay was a perfect five but on the other hand Ms. Winnie was a seven. However I think now that they have been on the hay net slow feeders Ms. Winnie is getting much closer to a five. I really don’t want any future horse problems with her so we are being very diligent with the new feeding program. The more horse info. you can get the better equipped you will be!
Oh Ms. Winnie, what an interesting character she is. She is one with a very large personal bubble, so large that when we first got her you could barely get near her to touch her. She had some serious horse problems with zero connection to humans and just knew we brought the food and filled the water tub. Now she will be the first to the gate! However as she revealed this past week there is still room for a deeper connection.
I thought I would just hang out with her and stand close enough to touch her. She could barely handle me in her bubble and kept moving off but I stuck with her until she settled which seemed like several minutes. After a while she finally dropped her head, became soft, blew out and then started yawning and yawning. I knew then that this had been a very, very difficult time for her since the yawning was a sign of coming off adrenaline. However she stayed with me for about 10 minutes letting me pet her and even moving closer to me. It was a connection I have never felt with her before and I’m so excited that she finally trusted me enough to let me in on a deeper level.
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When it comes to working with horses there is undoubtedly times when fear becomes a factor. After all they are big animals with their own agenda. Now fear is not a bad thing but it’s a horse problem that can paralyze you from moving forward with your horse. This subject has been close to my heart since my accident with Ms. Winnie four months ago. I couldn’t even physically ride for several weeks and when I finally could I rode Mr. Tay with no fear. Over this time I worked with Winnie on the ground but realized I had some fears about getting back on her. It took me almost three months before I got back on her and yes I had fears for the first half of the ride. This past couple of weeks has been all about overcoming those fears. And you know what has gotten me through it? A strong focus and just getting out there and doing it! I knew I wanted to ride her around the grounds bareback and in a halter so that’s just what I did. This still brought up some fears but I could feel them diminishing. We did this a few times and then we rode out. It wasn’t the greatest ride for Ms. Winnie because she had a lot of fears but it was a great ride for me! I was able to be a leader for her with zero fear and when she was too fearful I would get off and be a leader for her on the ground. It felt good to be back in the position of training a horse again. Focus was huge! Instead of focusing on what could happen I focused on the task at hand which was being a leader for my horse and preserving our relationship. There is good reason to have fears but don’t let it ruin your relationship with your horse…overcome it!
Here’s a quick video of us playing this past summer.
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Mr. Tay’s rehabilitation has really been a blessing in disguise. You know when you think you don’t have enough time for your horses and then horse problems come along and you have to make that time? Well that’s been the case here. Now every morning before work I take both my horses out for a quick ride and every day after work we get to play and ride. And because his rehabilitation has been so long it’s become a habit. We have reconnected on an even higher level and it’s been fun playing with Winnie from Tay’s back. I love a new challenge. Training a horse like this has been a lot of fun. This is one habit I’m happy to have. Check out the video of me playing with Winnie from Mr. Tay’s back!
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Well now here’s a subject of equine health that not a lot of people like to talk about and that’s sheath cleaning. If you own a gelding it’s an unavoidable procedure. Most of them get cleaned spring and fall to hopefully avoid horse problems in the middle of winter. Unfortunately some geldings tend to be dirtier than others like the one that I happen to be helping take care of right now. So guess who ended up doing a sheath cleaning in the middle of winter? He had just been cleaned two months prior but the poor guy was all swollen and had a large bump under his belly that was related to sheath infection. So we cleaned him and started him on a homeopathic spray for infections and the swelling and bump has come way down. I’ve attached a picture of him and you can see how predominant the bump under his belly was even with a winter coat on him. He seems to be much more comfortable now.