Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our first Bridge Crossing :)

Today was date day with Mike! But... luckily, after a fun filled day, I was told I could try to sneak in a ride. Whooo hooo! Love that man! I knew it would be a tight squeeze, but we made it work. :) Got the trailer hitched and the boys loaded right up. We headed to the horse park and I threw on Flecks tack and we were off. Danny was full of himself but a good boy. We started off to the right of the rings and Danny walked over the big open pinestraw covered bridge. Yay!!
Then we did the hilly section and Danny and Fleck were frisky and alert! It was good for Danny and Fleck. Work those booties! Well, remember the bridge that Fleck freaked out about at the last trail ride? Same exact bridge just a different spot. Tonight... no big deal. Fleck just tromped on over it.. and Danny followed right on over. Didn't even spook or dance or get upset about the change under his feet. :) Yay!!
I had to laugh at him because he kept jumping ahead of us. He's going to be a very brave eventer, I think!! I hope!!
So yep... a good day. We finished up just as the sun was setting and sat on the hill for a minute, the boys grazing, me saying good night to the sun.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Trail ride Success Again

So... I was brave. I took Fleck and Danny out by ourselves on one of the first REALLY cold and really WINDY days for a trail ride! And I managed to even get pictures ;) ha!!!
(Flecks head really is GINORMOUS isn't it/!?! hee hee... And Danny has a classic "Irish" head so it's not like he's all petite... hee hee... my poor hippo head!)

No worries though.. they were both pretty good. Sorta ;) Danny definitely needed to let off some steam and be mentally stimulated. I maybe should have renamed him "Little Fleckers" for two reasons! ;)

I started by loading them in the driveway instead of in the pasture and Danny had to think about it, but eventually got on and stayed on. He wasn't bad, just... "nah, I changed my mind" and calmly backing off. But we got on after 3 tries and stayed on. Hauled fine to the horse park and I decided to go to a new spot. He was good.. NOT pokey this time :) And wow.. the boy oversteps by a good 4-6 inches! (Though at times his walk did get lateral... that's bad isn't it!??).

So... we started off and they were both good but as the ride went on, Danny got friskier. He kept trying to bite poor Fleck. So.. he got some smacks and we carried on. We even did a little trotting and Danny even did some cantering. Then at the end, he did a snort, buck, rear, run thing...  I managed to keep him under control though. We walked up and down hills, through roots, in the woods, in the fields, etc. He was great. But clutzy!!! Jeepers... He's as bad as Fleck!!! I thought I was getting a mountain baby! Hee hee. Then we accidentally ended up on the human path I guess cause we came to a bridge. Now keep in mind... this is almost the exact same bridge as Fleck has crossed on numerous times, but... because this one was NEW... it was SCARY!! Fleck was snorting and dancing... Danny was like "what is the big deal"? So... I managed to get Fleck to go next to it, although he did manage to squash me into the tree and prickers in an effort to get as far away from it. Danny almost walked on the bridge next to Fleck. Way to show the baby there's nothing to fear Fleck!! Doh! But anyways... we all survived and I decided to not push the issue of getting Fleck over the bridge with the baby in tow. I know he would do it... he was just being silly. So then we came to another one, so I thought fine... we'll just go next to it. But there was a creek. No big deal... Se we go across and Fleck is being silly and spooky and jumps the tiny little stream. I turn around and see Danny jumping it too!!! Awww!!! Good eventing pony!!!

So yep.... That's about the extent of it. Oh, we also went down to the bank complex left over from the Olympics and Danny went down the steep grassy bank, then up the steep bank, then through the covered bridge (cause that one doesn't scare Fleck... sigh.. but it's not new, so.. okay). He didn't even flinch. He also sniffed the big giant roll top tables!!! I told him he had to wait a few years, but then... they're all his!

Success.. We all survived, no major issues, and Danny got to let off some steam! Oh.. but I lost one glove... :( I shoved them in my pocket so I could take pictures ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Goofy baby....

January 12th, 2012:
So.. today was really the first day in a week or so I've had any real free time, and... Danny and I had fun.The morning started out with feeding and I found a brush that was in the barn..... in the pasture. I guess Danny poked his head in the barn window and pulled it off the counter and then played with it. Hee hee. Then I had a lesson with Fleck and as I was hitching the trailer, Dan found the open window and pulled out the bag of carrots and then flung them up and down. Feed me!!!! hee hee. Sensing a little trend here... So I got the trailer hitched and had to chase Danny and Roany off. I even bribed them with alfalfa. Well... Danny was bored and wanted to come I guess because then he started running around, bucking and snorting and carrying on. Hee hee.. It was cute. He did about 8 laps! Hee hee. Luckily, I was able to sneak the trailer out of the pasture and Fleck and I had a great lesson.

So then tonight after I fed I was cleaning up poo and Danny was wanting to play. He kept grabbing the pitch fork. Goof! I think he's bored!! So.. .tomorrow is a trail ride!! Gonna burn off some of that energy.

Then tonight, since it was a really cold night, I walked out to bring them water. Which Danny and Fleck slurped down.. and BOTH drooled about half out back on me. Guess Fleck is teaching Danny his quirks. ;) Then Danny and I played a little bit with the water jug. So... guess there is one less water jug for the morning. I'm thinking I'll have to buy him a jolly ball!

So... nothing major, but a fun Danny Day. Tomorrow will be interesting.... It's going to be cold, cold, cold... and windy!! The baby trail ride should be interesting! Stay tuned.

Friday, January 6, 2012

More adventure! First foray into Eventing land!

So... I'm so proud of my little squirt!!
After our first trail ride, we did another and he was just as good. We went with another friend on her QH mare and had a great time. We got all four feet in the water, but just barely. But baby steps. :) So then I decided that I would take him to the cross country course at a lovely farm down the street. They are PERFECT for introducing babies to the basics. So...we went on a solo trailer ride (he's done it to come home from southern VA, and another trip to the vet and back) and did well. He called a lot, but... so did Fleck!! And actually, the big goober (and by that I mean Fleck...) literally followed the trailer as far as he could with his nose poked to the window! But Danny hauled well and was a good boy.

Anyways, we got to the farm and unloaded just fine. It was a little scary walking to the XC course, but after a few stops and looks, we made it out there. My trainer was teaching lessons, so Danny got to watch the big kids school. And he was great. He wasn't spooked or even too excited. We did one or two little circles around me, but he was very gentlemanly!

Then he got his turn. He walked in and out of his first ditch, up and down his first bank, and even jumped (JUMPED!!!! Not just walked over.. he hopped!) some small logs. After the third time up the bank (once up, once down, up again) he was so proud of himself he gave a little snort and prance! Squeaaaalllsss!! I love this little guy! We then trotted over another log or two and let him graze. We attempted the water again, and again he drank, but wouldn't get in. I decided not to push it, as he's got plenty of time and it was cool. We then spent another 20 minutes watching and grazing and he was well behaved. He even stood calmly while a young horse got loose and then another horse went on a bucking spree and dumped my friend. We walked back to the trailer and he loaded up and hauled great home.

I'm so impressed with him!!! I think he's going to really enjoy cross country and jumping. :) I can't wait!!! But at the same time.... I don't want him to grow up. He's so cute all little and squishy!

I didn't get any pictures of this adventure because I was concerned about him not behaving. (I didn't have to be obviously, but oh well).  But here's his cute face from another day!

Back to learning how to be a big horse

So... poor Dan. I didn't waste any time. He was off stall rest for less than a week when I decided it was time to go for our first trail ride! We met super Doc and her cute little filly for it and they were both great!! Danny hauled great and stood at the trailer like a big boy. He got his feet picked out, wore a saddle pad, and then waited while we tacked Fleck up. We had the pleasure of going with our new spotted friend Catfish and his Mom Marie too! We braced ourselves for adventure, but all 5 horses were wonderful! Both babies behaved and while Danny was a bit pokey, he was contect to be in the lead or in the back. May was great too and not quite as pokey. I'll give Dan the benefit of the doubt though, because Fleck may or may not have been giving him the evil eye. ;)

We went through the woods, through open fields, along the road, and then came to the creek. It's not a very friendly creek crossing. Even Fleck took some convincing the first time he saw it. We managed to get both kiddos' feet wet, and Danny even drank from it, but we didn't push our luck and get them in. Then on our way back we had to pass under the bridge next to a river with some rapids. Unfortunately, right as we passed the turn, some bike riders came flying up behind us. We were in back and both Danny and Fleck bolted about 6 strides! Then they both turned, looked, snorted, and then carried on like nothing had happened. :) Good baby!! Good Fleck!
That was it... no other excitement or problems. They all loaded fine and were happy at home. :) YAY!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our first Disaster

Go figure....

Things were going along well. Danny settled in nicely with the herd and was learning how to be a good baby horse. He learned how to have his feet picked out, to behave for the farrier, to tie, to lead, to be groomed, load and haul, and to wear a saddle pad and to be "sacked out" mostly. We were also learning to allow touching everywhere and the other typical baby stuff. Things were going well. He even had a playmate! A fellow appy lover was boarding her year and a half old colt with us and him and Dan were great friends. And him and Fleck were starting to become buddies.

Well, one day he came in with a small cut on the outside of his left hind. No big deal. I cleaned it out as best as a baby horse allows and kept an eye on it. It swelled up a little but I kept it clean and all seemed well. It was never hot or oozy and Dan stayed sound. Except that it continued to stay swollen. It was a firm cellulitisy type of swelling, so I didn't panic.
About four weeks later though, still sound and cool, it started to get fluidy and larger. Uh oh... And it didn't get better. So out came Dr. Christina. We sedated, clipped and cleaned, and stuck a needle in it. Bloody fluid. So... we x-rayed it and it appears that he managed to chip a teeny little fracture off the end of his lateral splint bone. A seriously small little piece. But I guess it was small enough that it had no blood supply and turned into a sequestrum, which meant he got a fluid pocket of irritation. Ugh.. that meant surgical removal. Poor little kid. Well, this is where it gets interesting.

Now.. it's funny. But only because I know it all went well. At the time... argh..

So... my dumb self schedules surgery for the morning after I worked 6 overnights in 7 days. So I get home from work and move the trailer to the driveway. Danny's self loaded and even sat in the trailer alone for 20 minutes so I figured it would be no big deal. Ha!! Apparently moving the trailer makes it scary. It also didn't help that the other horses left him and went up front. So... I spent 30 minutes trying to load the bugger and in this time, noticed I was starting to get a headache. Finally his buddy came galloping back up and I guess sorta scared him into the trailer. I managed to get the butt bar up and then Danny backs partly under it and gets stuck. He's freakin' out, I'm freaking out, and Fritz (his buddy) is freaking out. I finally manage to get him out from underneath and he tries to turn around. No baby horse, no! So somehow I manage to get him lined up properly, tie him (because I'm afraid he'll try to turn around again) and slam the doors shut and off we go. My head is now pounding but I don't have any headache meds and don't dare make him wait while I go back to the house to get some. Oh well...
So we get to the clinic and he is fine. He's settled down, hauled well, and only has a tiny scrape on his heel from his antics. Yay. We get him into the clinic and set up and he goes down well for surgery. So.. it's a cold cold day and we're doing surgery outside in a stall, but essentially outside. I'm freezing! While we're doing surgery (I got to help, cause I'm cool!) I leaned against the mat he was laying on. Suddenly it's nice and warm and I'm thinking... hey, do they have a heated mat?!? How cool is that?! Oh nope...wait... that's HORSE PEE!! Now my entire left butt cheek and thigh are soaked in pee. And now it's no longer warm. Ugh.. oh well. And now my head is really starting to pound. So... we finally get that tenacious tiny little piece of bone out and I scrub out. A tech brings me some ibuprofen and a coke and I let Dr. Christina wrap him up and start the process of waking him up while I go hunch over in the corner trying not to vomit. Well... that didn't last long. Next thing I know I'm puking in their trash can, dry heaving my guts out. Ugh... Sorry Doc!

Yeah... so I'm in a semi-conscious migraine state now, which is actually a really good thing! Because my baby horse, who I might add is half Irish, decides to come up fighting. Poor kiddo. He wakes up horrible and proceeds to thrash about his stall and smack his head, fall down, go up, fall down, etc. It's really quite terrifying and the things that could have happened are far too horrible to really even think about. Again, it's a good thing I'm so ill I'm half conscious too. So... Doc decides to sedate him again and rewake him up to see if he's a bit more smart about it. Nope.. he wakes up fighting again. Sigh.. Then we realize that he appears to have some nerve damage/paralysis to his front right leg and can't quite get it under him. Which is not helping his getting back on his feet while still drunk situation. So... all of the vet clinic comes out and hook his head and tail up to a rope pulley system and basically hold him upright. Yay!! Now he's not flopping like a fish out of water and not likely to hurt himself. Dr. Christina checks him out and he's just bruised and battered, but no major issues. At this point someone brings me some more potent pills and I excuse myself to my truck to pass out for real. Who knows how much later, Dr. Christina taps on my window and says he's up and ready to go home. I am not sure why I was so adament about not leaving him there. I think part of it was that I wanted to go home and pass out but still be able to check on him around 9 pm when I figured I'd get up. And I wanted to be able to dote on my poor little man. So we tried to load him. He's smart and figured out that if he flung his foot forward, he could place it and walk. However if he didn't, it knuckled and he started to go down. So it was slow going, but we got him to the ramp. And then he said NO! Honestly though... smart baby. So I give up and say he can stay and can stay overnight! I'm too ill to care at this point and just need to get home to bed. So we walk him over to their barn. Where he says NO again and almost takes out their electric cords. Doh.... So then we get him into a paddock and he seems happy. Thank goodness!! I went home and passed out and finally woke up feeling better. The next morning I went and got my little guy and he was already so much better. They had put him in a stall overnight. We started him on meds and he was walking almost normally at that point. He loaded right up and was happy to be home. He stayed in his stall for 10 days and was back to normal by the time he was off stall rest. He was great about his stall rest, great about his bandage changes, and his incision healed beautifully. His leg is still swollen, but that will go away with time.

I'm just glad it all worked out well and that I was semi-comatose during the ordeal. Super thanks to Dr. Dayton and her crew for working so hard on him and helping him out. Phew.... No more drama baby horse, no more!!!

Fate: Everything happens for a reason

So.... here's how it all started. I had lost Dewey, a Wapuzzan baby, to colic two years ago. I had been wanting another baby but couldn't find "The one". At this point, I was starting to get a little anxious about it. It was time, I was ready! So, I began the search. I found a filly that was gorgeous and everything I wanted, but she was in California. I began talking to the breeder and finally got a vetting scheduled. Unfortunately she had a club foot and I decided to not take the risk. Not for my future eventer. So back to the drawing board. Dewey's breeder did had bred his Mom back but she aborted a lovely little colt. I was heartbroken. Actually, more heartbroken than when the filly failed the vetting. So then I started considering breeding. I got pretty excited about it and even found a lovely lovely mare to lease. But then the doubt started. I thought of all the things that could go wrong, all the potential heartaches, the fact that I would have to wait another year... and what if it was solid?! So I asked God for guidance. Later that week I saw a Church sign that said "God likes suprise endings". I believe it was pertaining to the "end of the world" not happening, but I believed it was meant for me to see. So I decided that breeding was very much a surprise ending. I made my decision and was all set to order semen and get that mare checked out. But I waited... one more night. Just to make sure I was set. That night I went to bed dreaming of the dream baby.... would that lovely dark bay mare pop out what I wanted?! A dark bay baby with four white socks with spots on the socks and a big blanket. :) Well, that morning I woke up and checked my email. And I noticed an email from Deweys' breeder titled "Surprise"! hmm..... Turns out that another mare they bred to their stallion (Deweys' Dad) had foaled in the wee hours of the morning. And guess what his markings were?! Not exactly what I was picturing, but just about as close as possible. I had already boarded his sister for a friend and everyone liked her. For some reason I had talked myself out of wanting this particular baby because I wasn't sure I wanted a half Appy half Irish Sport Horse. Well... ha!! I saw the pictures of the little guy and was in love. I figured given the title of the email and the fact that he was the dream markings and great conformation and half-brother to Dewey.. it was fate. God sure has a twisted sense of humor sometimes. I spent the morning on email and was already faling in love. To make a long story less long... I ended up going to visit him at 10 days old and put down a deposit. What a great little guy. He was a shy fry,  but once he got to know me he was very much a show off. I couldn't help it. I was in love! When he was 4 months old he was weaned and I brought him home.

I'd like to keep tabs of his life as he grows up to be an event horse. I plan to keep him forever, assuming he ends up liking life as an event horse or dressage horse and we get along. This will be his baby book. Hopefuly it will be filled with fun and adventure and very little heartache or drama.