Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Let me pay the vet bill with all this extra money, said no horse owner ever.

A million things have happened. Some good, some bad.

First since many of you have asked about Moose. Moose is doing fine...At least now he is. He did try and die on me a month ago. It went from being very mild the end of November to frigid and freezing rain. For whatever reason he didn't go into the shed. It rained all day and when I went to feed him grain at night he was shivering. Shivering was ok so I went to get a blanket to put on him wile he ate and warm him up. I walked him to the tack shed; a place he normally makes a nuisance of himself if I leave him loose by knocking everything over. He started backing up at the door and backing and backing. Thinking he was being a pill and not wanting to come inside I kept tight on the lead rope. He backed and backed and at this point I noticed something was seriously wrong, he wasn't backing to be defiant, he was backing to stop from collapsing. He fell down with a great thud and began shivering violently.
Now if you have ever been in a predicament with a horse that has gone into shock let me tell you he wasn't a far cry from this. I bolted to go find Maverick in the shop (who was unhappily plucking roosters with his dad). When I came back Moose was still on the ground. I managed to get him sitting back up and urged him to his feet. He reluctantly got back up and started following me (with 3 horse blankets on his back) but he only got another 50 feet before collapsing again. It was raining, blowing wind, frigid and a Sunday night. No vet would come out, I was on my own. We made a quick decision and grabbed the loader tractor and rolled him into the bucket to get him the other 150 feet to the shop so he would be totally out of the elements.

He laid on the shop floor with heating pads, two heaters and a heap of blankets for two hours without trying to get up or move. I rolled him over every so often to prevent nerve damage. He laid there, breathing and closing his eyes for long periods of time. I called numerous vet's, the university, anyone. I fed him Gatoraide and handfuls of his grain (as mush from his choking incident he no longer gets un-soaked grain). He ate slowly, sighed, slept. Finally he started to lift his head. He picked it up to look around as something loud was dropped (remember, Maverick and his dad are grumbling and plucking roosters in the shop this whole time) but then laid it back down and slept more. After picking up his head several times I made him sit up and stuffed his bucket of grain under him. He began to eat greedily but laid back down after a few mouthfuls. After several rounds of sitting up and eating we urged him to his feet and he stayed there, munching grain happily and sipping Gatorade. So we went and got a couple bales of straw and a bale of hay. Itty bitty spent the night in the shop, happily munching hay with Ginger's too-big pink pony blanket.


The next morning I opened the shop door and he tore out like someone lit a rocket under his butt, broom tail in the air before settling to eat grass by the driveway. Yes I let him loose, he doesn't have a terrible attachment to the herd, but he does have his favorite surrogate horse family members he sticks close to when with them. He eats grass and comes to find you on the property when he wants back in the pasture.

But he is fine now. For precautions and because foals don't have a lot of fat he got his very own (54 inch) foal blanket that is weatherproof and has a light fill. He gets it on when it is below freezing or raining/snowing.

Moose is ticked off. I called him to the hitching post and didn't feed him. He is the little master of expressive face making, right under Indigo. 

Other than that he is great! I told him that night that he couldn't give up and die on me; I was going to ride him and drive him when he got older first.
Moose loves going for walks to new places, playing with the dog's and eating. Did I mention eating? Well this colt LOVES TO EAT. He's growing up into a well mannered, friendly little colt. 

Indigo got some sort of mystery eye issue. I brought her to the vet because her one eye was weeping. Usually when her eye weeps I put her fly mask on a day or two and it resolves. No this one. It was in her right eye and she would barely open it and it weeped, bad! 
Leopard print fly masks in December. Not the fashion statement I was hoping for. 

Several vet visit's and a good dent in my Christmas gift money later and I still had a horse who couldn't open her eye and Three ointments I had to put in her eye four times a day, every six hours. I thought after a couple times of this she was going to (metaphorically) give me the horse middle finger and run when she saw me coming, but she didn't. She met me at the gate every time and let me poke her in the eye without a halter on, several times a day for a longer time than I wish. 

Poor Indigo. The vet ruled she had a very light ulcer on the very surface of her eye but the next time I went it was gone. Her tear duct was clear but her pupil remained dilated and under her eye was swollen. You had to talk to her when you walked up on her closed eye side or she would jump then look at you with her head tilted sideways.

Finally after a month and a half, her eye getting better, then far worse. I was at whits end. What if she lost her sight? What if it never got better and she was forever squinty eyed. Finally after being told again by a vet to "just leave it and see what happens" I gave her a supplement. It's for people and reduces oxidative stress. I take it every day personally and have given it to Ginger for her fused back pastern. It did wonders for Ginger's inflammation, taking her from dragging her hind leg to picking it up and running across the pasture, what could it do for my horses obviously swollen and weepy eye. Well in a week it did nothing less than I expected. 

A week later. What a difference. Lovely to see your beautiful brown eye again my spotty horse (the morning sun was right on her face she isn't squinty anymore)

Monday, November 26, 2012

White line disease

Does this "cracked" hoof wall look familliar?

 The right hoof was trimmed but not completely finished and the left was untrimmed. You can see in the toe of the right where I rolled it the crack stops in the outer hoof wall.

They don't go down to the white line and the horse has no definite splits in the hoof so why worry, right?

They seem to be more evident in white hooves, which is just a wives tale (there's no difference in white/black hooves but the lack of melanin influenced by the skin above the hoof) but you see blemishes more easily in white hooves.

Farriers have different names for them, grass cracks, weather cracks, dry cracks etc.

The hoof wall seems more reluctant to chip off, thrush that doesn't seem to want to completely go away, falling apart frogs, lack of concavity, ouchiness on rough terrain, can't hold shoes without chipping off, persistent flares are just some of the symptoms.

There is ALWAYS a reason why hooves don't look smooth and shiny without someone running a rasp over them. A common and yet very unknown cause: White line disease!!!

White line disease (Hereafter known as WLD) is an inappropriate name because it actually originates between the pigmented layer of hoof and the unpigmented layer (AKA the water line as some people call it), not the white line. However it can go down into the white line in a severe case and cause it to die and become hollow (Seedy toe). The pathogens get into the hoof wall, be it by injury such as an abcess, cut hairline, compromised laminae (laminitis, founder) etc. or by neglect such as bad living conditions, long time between trims leaving flares and stretching the laminae, allowing the pathogens to invade etc. It comes from the coronet band and makes it's way down the hoof. This is where you start to see the cracks in the hoof wall. Sometimes the hoof will split and it is common practice for a farrier to either "score" the crack with a rasp, burn it or put a shoe on it to stop it from splitting. The problem is this only treats the aftermath of the issue, not the source so it never goes away completely.

Here you can see a black hoof.

The outer wall is black, the white next to it is the un-pigmented hoof wall layer and then the white line appears yellow. This gelding has had a crack for 5 years and was lame without shoes. So farrier after farrier put shoes on him and yet his hoof still cracked. I came along and told the owner about what was really going on. Notice the bad quality of frog and black between the layers of hoof wall were dead, necrotic tissue has been living.

Here's the hoof clipping. You can see where the split occurred, leaving the pigmented hoof wall intact behind it.

This horse is on his way to having nice, new feet.

This mare however the owner reports always flares, cracks and grows next to nothing for hoof wall. Can you guess what I seen when I rasped a little?
See the black crap there, right between the layers of hoof wall? That is the white line disease. Atrophied frog, nasty.

So what does one do to get rid of this nasty, sneaky sucker? Well start by throwing away all those hoof dressings, thrush treatments and hoof ointments that have chemicals in them. If you have coppertox or have used bleach stop right now! Stop it! Stop it right now and say it with me: IF YOU WOULDN'T PUT IT ON YOUR OWN SKIN DON'T PUT IT ANYWHERE ON YOUR HORSES. PERIOD!!
Chemicals like bleach, coppertox, thrush buster etc. kill good tissues and horn in the hoof. This creates a new buffet of compromised structures for these pathogens to invade and make a new home. Make sure you read labels, pick something that isn't going to harm live tissue. My personal favorite and most effective is Clean trax. It takes a bit more time but is far more effective than anything I have used (yes white lightning included which as I personally witnessed, ate a clients denim jeans. Yikes!).

So my question to you guys, have you witnessed these cracked hooves? What have you been told?

Monday, November 19, 2012

never enough

One simply does not

Have too many pictures of their horse sticking out their tongue.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I have a mascot

The business has a mascot.
Or a new family member.

Meet Clinch. Well this was him in August.

Isn't he cute? He doesn't look much like this anymore, the little, cute, terror. 

At one of the farms where we trim horses (they are all barefoot) the owner of the land's one dog had puppies. His mother is a white Pomeranian chihuahua cross and his dad was a heeler. How on earth that was possible is beyond me.
All six of the puppies were born on a 115 degree day and one of the boarders thought they were all dead because they were under a stump and completely covered in flies. They were nursed back to health but not doing very good when we met them 6 weeks later, covered in ticks and fleas. They were extremely underweight and wormy too. Through our business we got them all adopted though and of course, kept Clinch for our own.

Savanah wasn't quite sure what to make of him at first. She stalked him everywhere and nipped at him, trying to instigate some sort of dominance fight. Eventually he wheeled around, growled, barked and charged at her with his evil little needle puppy teeth. She regarded him differently ever since.

 The dog park is tiring. Clinch, never having seen a dog toy immediately discovered Savanah's for the thieving. Here they are playing "tug of prettiest".

Looking back on these pictures it's hard to remember when I first weighed him at the vet's he wasn't even two pounds!

 Hose water is the best.

"Roo roo roo!!"

How could you ever get angry at that face?

He has an obsession with burying things he doesn't find tasty. He insists on a horse treat when the horses get one, but always buries it in soft dirt, if he can find some. Leaves or my sweater lying on the seat of the truck make a good alternative place to bury things. He shoves the "dirt" back over the treasure with his nose it's so funny.

Clinch came in the other day totally soaking wet and on a wet dog "rampage". It being super dry here I started to rack my brain thinking of what on earth he got into to soak himself...and smell SO BAD!! The sewer lagoon. YUCK!!!

He grew and grew and is now almost ten pounds!

Savanah is 19 pounds. I don't think he will be that big but he sure has grown like a weed. He was biting her paws and she was doing her best to be tolerant so she was biting the blanket.

His colours have come in darker as he aged. He had the werewolf face when he was younger but all the black is almost gone on his head other than around his ears.

He has become my almost constant companion. He loves coming with me when I do farrier work and gets along with every dog I see on my rounds. Everyone falls in love with him because he usually makes a beeline for the first person he see's, tail wagging, happy bounding little puppy. Be definitely is a one person dog, insisting to sit on my lap all the time or cuddle up next to me on the couch or running to me for shelter when he aggravates a duck or rooster too many times and gets bit. Hes one saucy little bugger.

The saucy dog that licks the truck windows and bites and growls at the wind when the windows are down...

He is special. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Slow feeders

This year has been horrible for crops, hay included. Until September we had less than four inches of rain since May and it was dry, dry, dry, dry. The first cutting of hay was pitiful and the others simply did not exist. So I went to buy gold hay for the old ladies, who cannot have hay off the round bales due to their allergies. Alfalfa is what they were getting and it wasn't an option. No one had any and if they did the price was astronomical. We ended up getting some decent grass bales for a decent price. The problem is the old ladies are picky and spread their less appealing grass hay in a 50 foot radius, stomping, pooping and peeing on good hay that should be eaten. So I spent a great deal of time thinking about how to feed the ladies. We thought about putting the hay in a feeder so at least it was off the ground. Knowing horses they were likely to take a huge first bite of a flake and shake it all over.
So I thought, I need a feeder that I can put hay in and they can't just take a flake out and stomp and poop and pee all over it. I have seen hay nets such as Lisa's from Laughing orca ranch but I couldn't really hang them on the shed due to the shed being pretty old and probably wouldn't fare well against daily hungry horse abuse. If they were on the ground I was afraid of them or something getting wound up in it. So I decided to go with something not only portable but durable. I didn't want to be re-making this thing.
So with my idea's and Maverick's carpenter skills (that is after all, his first trade before being a farrier) we made this: 

 It only has one coat of paint and no lid at this point. We built it completely out of scrap lumber. We literally only bought a hog panel for the sides because after thinking about the many we have on the farms they were all bent up and not worth the bother to try and straiten or fix them. I also bought barn paint for the lumber because I didn't want it to rot or have any harmful substances the horses could ingest.

We started with an old pallet for the bottom and built up from there. The pyramid for the middle keeps the flakes of hay against the sides. You can fit approximately 1 bale of hay in here. The first week I used it the ladies inhaled the hay in a couple hours. Now a week later they munch on it, pulling mouthfuls from between the bars (their teeth don't touch the hog pannel I made sure) they go away, graze, come back. There's always a little left when I come back the next feeding which is great, meaning their stomachs are never empty.

 The old ladies are also eating hay together now, rather than squabbling at feeding time over who gets the hay pile they want (Indigo).

I have another idea using the hog panel to make a V shaped one but I have yet to see round bale ones that were not hockey net. Anyone have ideas?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Miniature horses and ponies...

I want to make this really clear right now. I know other farriers feel the same as I do because I get called when no one else will come out to trim and fix the buggers.

Miniature horses are NOT big dogs. They do NOT cost less to keep and maintain than a big horse. Hoof care is no exception so when looking for a farrier don't expect quality hoof care to come half price, which is what most mini owners expect.

They still eat hay, the hay comes out the other end, hurt themselves on invisible objects and have four hooves.

There's only two types of ponies (and mini's); Foundered and gonna.

Having said that this is what happens when a mini's owner is denied farrier care by several farriers recommended by a local vet. These are his hind feet. His front's were not that bad and I forgot to take a picture.

It's a bad picture because he is standing on the grass but the bottom of his hooves are deformed and turned towards each other. His last trim was June of this year so it wasn't like it took years for his feet to become this way. The owner didn't want to attempt to attack the problem himself but was running out of options as no other farrier would answer his call or come out because they had mini's.

This is the after. This little guy was extremely cooperative, unlike many foundered patients. His feet are still turned a bit due to the hoof capsule being crushed dbut in due time he will turn around.
The owner and his brother were extremely pleased to set up followup appointments and despite having other farriers out before to work on this guy in better condition than he was when I worked on him they had absolutely no clue what founder was other than they knew a horse could get it from eating too much grain and it caused the hoof to grow weird. We had a nice long talk and now they understand what founder is, what causes it and what precautions they should take, especially in fall which is a prime time for founder.

Having said this mini's are the hardest horses to trim. I would take a draft any day over a mini. It doesn't mean they are any less important when it comes to hoof care. It means the little buggers ensure I will shed some blood and lose some skin. Not from them, although many owners assume mini's are big dog's and never take the time to handle them. Their feet are small and the mini's are wiggly. Fingers and hands plus a rasp do not equal trimmed mini feet. They mean I am likely to have to put a liniment on a horse later that evening (I love you absorbine liniment) and subject my hands to what feels like battery acid. I also usually walk a little hunch backed for the rest of the day.

I want to hire a midget. Anyone know a midget that want's to learn how to trim mini's? I'll pay them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

When it rains, it pours...

And thunders, compete with computer, T.V and other electronic frying lightning.
Yes the computer was plugged into a surge protector. A friend of ours had some things get hit too. It finally stormed. Wind and lightning and a bit of hail made us all believe we were finally getting some sort of rain. But it only amounted to 1/8 an inch, despite all the commotion.
That was in July. It is almost impossible to blog on my phone and between traveling to Oklahoma and Canada, here, there and everywhere I just recently got around to getting a useable internet connection again.

Many things has happened this summer. Before I go on to those I'll tell you, because so many have asked. Moose is doing well. We had a little scare when he choked, strained a muscle in his neck and wouldn't eat. He now gets his grain all wet down and no solid grains.

One of my favorite of course is my farrier business. I never get sick of looking at horses legs and feet. I never get sick of the horses owners calling me and telling me how much better their horses are after I bring them back to proper angles or remedy a lameness.
One thing I say often: Never judge another farrier for his(or her) work because you never know where they started.

So far starters here are some pictures. Today's blog subjects are all founder.

Becky, a foundered mule. 

X-Rays of Flash. A 15 year old arabian gelding shod 3 weeks before by another farrier and x-rayed the Monday before I got there at the request of the other farrier. You can see where the toe isn't even touching the shoe.and there's almost no sole depth.

 Flash. The foot in the x-ray is the left front (closest in the picture) the other hoof lost the shoe a day or two before. Note again how the toe isn't even touching the shoe.

 Fancy, a foundered mule with an extreme contracted deep digital flexor tendon. This is why she appears knuckled over.

All of these animals are from different owners. Some kept putting it off, others didn't know there was any hope and some it was neglect on other farriers part. All are on a six week or less schedule for their feet being done to avoid them becoming the mess they were in these pictures.

Did any of them survive? How did they get this way?


She was once a mule in a pretty nice little driving team. She foundered and was out on quite the few acres and became pretty wild. We managed to trick her into an area and made a squeeze chute out of two panels, sandwiching her between them.

Then we broke out the big tools. Our Dewalt sawsall.

I kept the pieces of hoof it was pretty cool. The dogs all keep trying to steal it out of my shoeing trailer though.

When the whole deal was done. It was kind of a crude job but we didn't have a whole lot to work with when it came to her right front. The heel was so collapsed. Next time.

Fancy.  Her owner acquired her not long before I came by. He said she spent many hours laying the pasture and not moving much or braying. I already hacked off six inches that had curled back towards her leg.

 I was hitting a solid chunk of dead hoof so I went to the trusty hacksaw.

The finished product. Her owner reported her last trim as cruising up and down the pasture and braying at him when he comes outside in the morning.

He ripped the front right shoe off that had been on for three weeks by another farrier. The other farrier requested that the owner get x-rays. It doesn't take a vet to show me that about two inches of toe need to be taken off to maintain the hoof-pastern axis.

Front left, lateral.

 Front right, lateral.
After. Reduced the size of the shoe by almost two sizes. Removed the laminar wedge at the toe and returned the hoof-pastern axis to something more normal. Pad and silicon soft pour in packing material under it. Next reset more of the laminar wedge will be removed. The toe is off the shoe due to the pressure placed on the laminae and hoof wall previously. Next trim we should have something more to work with and hopefully nail a shoe to. Although I love most horses barefoot this horse's goal is to be comfortable. He came to me pretty darn lame and trotted off to visit his buddies in the pasture.

So thats it for today. Feel free to ask questions. All the animals here are doing much better.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Itty bitty, Moose

For all those who have asked about my little orphaned colt, Moose.

Moose is doing well. He has been affectionately nicknamed "bitty".

Mmmm, nom time

The night Rocky died we left to get foal lac, a powdered milk replacer for foals. Unfortunately the only place open on a Saturday night that had it was a vet's office. Can you hear the dollars flying out of my pocket? It cost me twice the amount, as I found out later. I had bottle fed a baby before at a farm I worked at so this would be a piece of cake!
WRONG. Moose strongly informed me that Foal lac is indeed poison. It tastes, smells, looks like poison. We tried everything and finally resulted in basically force feeding him the poison because he was obviously fading. Later around midnight for another feeding I was tired and at my whits end I decided to soak some grain he had received with his mom with the foal lac. As long as the foal lac was pretty much strained out of the grain he would get some of it down. I went to bed for what seemed like seconds before going back out to force feed him again.
Moose obviously had started to lose strength. He spent most of his energy on escaping several fences we had decided should hold ANY horse as some were built with high tensile wire and telephone poles. Apparently we never figured colt's into that equation because he managed to wriggle right through with a few good scratches on his hind legs. We would find him taking a stroll through the yard in random directions, calling for his mama.
Eventually he became too exhausted to escape yet another pen (4 fences later) and fell asleep in a tired heap not too far from the other horses.

Moose loved strait grain and ate it well because his mother and him had been eating it twice a day since before he was born. He resented people for a few days, evading capture as best he could when it came to feeding time. He did have hay to eat and did eat hay but it was a roller coaster for the first couple days. He would be strong and fight then he would be obviously weak and tired. He still called with his heart wrenching nickers for his mama.

 I looked high and low for a goat that was milking to hopefully feed him cheaper than the foal lac. No luck. I did not jump up and down at the thought of milking a goat but hey, it was cheaper than foal lac. Luckily a friend of ours has goats for milk and her son's 4-H. Shes been giving us a couple milk jugs full a day! What a wonderful lady! We have been helping her out as much as possible. I trimmed all her goats hooves for the 4-H fair that night, in shorts with my farrier chaps over them and cowboy boots on. I was sylin'.
Finally Moose ate. I really wasn't sure if he was starving or if it was the goats milk. But he ate. Only if the milk was mixed with grain out of a bucket. Voila! I had to sit with him so the other horses didn't push him off it (PEPE!!) He ate slow at first but now he sees me coming and is at the gate before I come out of the shed with his bucket then proceeds to inhale it as fast as possible, which came to a sort of scary scenario.
I am not sure how many of you have experienced this. As Moose proceeded to snarf down the grain at one point when we were fighting with him to eat the foal lac and he choked. Choke happens when something lodges itself in a horses throat in which they cannot a) Throw up, well because a horse cannot throw up or b) swallow. He had just taken a large mouthful of his poison foal lac grain and suddenly his eyes bugged out of his head, he stopped swishing his tail and had a sort of convulsion. I knew immediately having seen horses choke before what was happening. The lucky thing is that horses systems are designed so they do not breathe through their mouth so they will still continue to breathe, unlike a human who could quickly die from lack of oxygen. Each time he would try and swallow he would lean back and his whole body would stiffen and he would shudder violently. The sudden pain scared him and he took off across the pen at mach 5 finally stopping dead in his tracks with another scary convulsion. I got a hold of him and started massaging his throat and neck. I also called the university vet. Just a quick note here: If you don't have the number to the closest university vet, get it! Most will answer your questions for free and are very knowledgeable, especially when it's late and your vet may not be available for a wile. None of the local vets answered but the emergency line at the university was prompt and told me I was doing everything correctly and it should hopefully pass.
Luckily as I was talking on the phone to a very nice lady vet and massaging Moose's neck his little tail started to swish and he relaxed, knowing the grain had dissolved in his throat. He smacked his lips and looked eagerly at the bucket for more. Scary for sure.

But as the days have gone by Moose has decided the reason I was put on earth; to feed him and to scratch his whole body, all over, all the time.  He prefers his goats milk cold and his scratches after he has finished eating. Then he will wander on over with the rest of the horses and stretch out like a corpse on his side in the sun and digest.

Moose, you are a pest. Let me finish my work. Here, wear this hat

He doesn't mind being mauled by kids, the dog, cat's, chickens or all shorts of machinery like tractors and weed eaters. They have been part of his life from day one. He also had his feet trimmed for the first time a couple days ago and was a complete doll due to him being imprinted a few hours after birth. I held him and Maverick trimmed him. It's very important to trim a foals hooves when they are young, especially if they are toeing in or out. Especially before three months, when their knees will pretty much permanently set in which direction they grow. Moose was unfortunately a slight bit toed out when he was born. A toed out foal will wear more on the outside of it's hooves and less on the inside, allowing the inside to grow longer which will only accentuate and worsen the toeing out. The opposite is true for a toed in foal. So we have been lowering the medial (inside) and leaving the lateral (outside) longer to make him strait again and it has worked. In just a few days after trimmings you can see definite improvements. We take little, often to ensure he will not be sore and so his tendons and ligaments can adjust to the new position.

So for all those worried, Bitty, I mean Moose, is doing a lot better than expected. So much that when I was at a farm last week shoeing a horse the lady had a colt twice his age there that was his size. Moose is going to live up to his name and be, well a moose if he continues to grow like a weed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

life can be so, so cruel

As everyone knows when you own a horse it comes a time when tragedy will strike. You can either pull your big girl pants up and do the right thing or run in the other direction.

Rocky died yesterday afternoon.
Maverick and I went from petting and playing with Pepe and Moose to scrambling to help a 1500lb horse that was bleeding to death in less than 30 seconds it seemed.

I won't go into the extreme details here. It was a freak accident sort of thing. Rocky was tied to a sturdy post wile we played with Moose and Pepe a short distance away, well within view. We have had horses, really rank, wild horses tied to this post before. It's secure and sturdy, made out of an old Osage tree. Rocky was tied short. I am really anal about tying horses short. I've seen more freak outs with people tying a horse too long so I knew better. She was a bit anxious but nothing uncontrollable. She pawed a few times, neighed. She was used to us playing with Moose and being tied up but before we knew it she had climbed the old five foot tall gate and was stuck somewhat like this cow.

I had to add something to lighten the post. This cow makes me laugh.

Her being stuck on the gate was fine. She hung out for a few moments, pretty calmly I might add, as we came over to quickly determine what was to be done and she thrashed. Rocky has always been a pretty calm horse in situations others would have lost their marbles. Her sudden realization she was caught hung over the gate she flailed and broke the gate. When the gate broke she landed on a T-post I had no clue was even there, tight against the gate due to some tall foliage. But the damage was done and she began to bleed, very bad.

We had to do what I hope, and I sincerely mean this, none of my readers ever have to do. We had to get a gun and shoot Rocky to end her suffering. She was in shock and bleeding out fast, unable to hold herself up once she came off that post. The T-post hit a main artery, right off her heart and there was nothing we could do and no time to get a vet out there that fast to euthanize her.

Murphy's law of horses should add another one to the list: "Horses will find it and they will injure themselves on it".

This is not the first time I have seen a horse get seriously injured on a t-post. This time it just happened to be my horse in a place horses shouldn't have even been. I cap most of my t-posts either with bike tire tubes folded over with electrical tape or commercial t-post caps. For anyone who has not yet seen a horse at the very least give themselves a good scrape with a T-post please think about capping them. The caps and time it takes to do that is a lot cheaper than a vet bill, or a life.

This left us with one 6 week old colt with no mom. Moose had his buddies with the other horses but he cried and cried and cried for his mama. He could smell where she was near the gate and spent a long time there. Then he proceeded to escape from 4 separate pens we thought to be escape proof (electric and a pretty solid round pen made of telephone poles, and one wooden gate he climbed like a ladder) and run around in a panic looking for mama. Finally he settled in at 10 pm with the rest of the horses and ate hay. He wanted little to do with the foal lac milk replacer but gladly ate his regular grain; if it wasn't mixed with the foal lac poison!

It's very unfortunate, but life can be so cruel sometimes. Rocky was a great mare. I really liked her and so did everyone else who met her. She had such a steady, easygoing personality she was a blast to work with for a horse who spent her previous 9 years totally wild. You never had to teach her something twice. I can only hope Moose will grow up to be like her. For now I shall spend my spare time feeding a rambunctious colt and loosing sleep for midnight feedings.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Arnicare winner!!

We have a winner.


"Right now, I am struggling with tendinitis all through my arm:( The worst thing that I can think of was being thrown over a corral when my horse stepped on a bee's nest.


Please e-mail me sydney@bitlesshorseblog.com with your address and information. I hope Arnica can help you with your tendonitis.

p.s- There's another contest coming up soon. The product is for horses, and it has arnica in it.
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