Thursday, November 6, 2014

Keeping My Mind and Body Busy

Yesterday was a big day for all the equines at my house.

First were the therapy treatments.  We started with Melody, who has seemed stiff and awkward to me.  I wasn't sure if it was in my imagination or real.  It was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, very real.   As Dana started palpating and touching trigger points to see where the problem areas were, she found both shoulders sore, right hip was reactive but not as much as I expected.  However, when she touched the trigger point on the inside of her stifle, she almost lost a knee cap.  I have never seen Melly try to kick like that.  Clearly it was a problem area.

This sparked a memory in me of when the farrier was out the week before and put new shoes on her.  Usually Melly is relaxed and practically falls asleep during her "pedicure"  This time she struggled with holding up her hind legs, and the farrier was very careful to keep them as low as possible.

Dana worked on her for a long time. She also had two very tight muscle spots right over her hip point.  It is so cool to see the horses reactions when things feel better. Melly shakes her head, yawns, licks and chews and some times does a whole body shake.   The biggest reaction was after she worked on that right stifle area.  I swear if she could have said "OMG that feels good!" she would have.

The difference was amazing!  I walked her around some afterwards and she wasn't even dragging that back toe any more.  Melly is now on a once a month schedule just like Sassy.

Sassy was next, and we have made some major progress with her.  The scar tissue is no longer attached to the muscle.  I go out every day and massage that area and try to keep it loose.  She did have some pain there still, according to the machine.

It is interesting to watch the Magna wave machine do its thing.  If it is a problem area, the tissue will react, bouncing violently with each pulse.  If the area is already relaxed and there is no pain, there will be very little reaction at all with the pulse.

She had no reaction in the knee that I thought was bothering her.  Some reaction in the shoulder, some reaction in the foot.  Her chest area is always sore, I assume from compensating for the foot soreness.

What was really odd about this treatment was that we moved her before and we moved her after, and this time she was not better afterwards.  However the problem area was clearly located at the left front foot, so there is something else going....again.

I have been keeping on with her thrush treatment, and I am also going to treat her as if she is laminitic, just because I am out of options.  

(side note:  her pain in her foot doesn't seem to be too big of a problem for her. She had no issue with bum rushing her gate this morning and making a mad dash for the grass which she isn't allow to have!)

Then it was time to load up Trax and send him on his way.

The day before I decided to get one more ride on my boy before he left.  I swear he can read my mind.  I have not said to him, "Trax you are going away for a month." yet he sure acted like he knew.  He did everything he could to convince me that he doesn't need a trainer.  His stops were gorgeous.  I mean like "right now" gorgeous.  We loped big and small beautiful circles at he adjusted his speed according to my seat, and never once argued about anything.  We even played around with the barrels and gosh did we have fun!   He has a beautiful turn on the third barrel!

Even with that, I had made my decision and so yesterday he went. It was so hard to see him go.  I talked her ear off about him, making sure she knew all his little quirks, the things he likes, and doesn't like.  She finally laughed at me, and said, "I promise to take good care of him, and be nice to him."   Then he was gone.

In order to keep myself from missing him I decided to do some riding.  I rode Melody first and we worked on my lead change cues.  I must be getting it right because we did four smooth changes.  So smooth that I wasn't even sure she did them until I looked down and saw which leg she was leading with.  It was pretty awesome.   We also went over poles several times.  She is really coming along nicely.  I'm pretty excited.   (actually that should read "My riding skills are finally coming along nicely" since she already knows this stuff!")

Then I rode Killian. Rather than fight with him over arena work, I opted to just take him out and trot around the neighborhood.  As I get to know more and more people, this seems to be a challenge as I end up stopping and talking to folks as I ride.   Last night was no different!  I also met a new neighbor who was out scooping poop. He was an older cowboy, and we chatted for a bit.  I commented on his pretty paint horse, and he said, "Yeah he's pretty nice for an old guy."

I asked how old he was.



So there I am sitting on my 20 year old horse who does not look bad for his age, even though he is a little over weight.

This horse was built like a brick $h!t house, not an ounce of fat on him and his big and solid as any horse I have ever seen.    If you put him and Killian next to each other, it would be like comparing John Cena to Chris Farley.  Okay well maybe not quite like that, but you get the picture.

Next time I ride by there I will have to take his picture.  He truly is gorgeous!  My horse is going on an exercise program!

Anyway, so then I rode on home and as I was coming up my street I ran into another neighbor on her horse with her 3 dogs.  Killian doesn't care about dogs, he has been working side by side with them his whole life.  Even if they bark and run in and out of his feet, he does not care.  If they get stepped on...he also does not care. LOL

However, my kitty, Oscar, does care about those dogs very much and one of them chased him up to the top of a power pole, which is where he was perched when I cam a long.  The gal apologized, and I told her not to worry, he would come down when he was ready.

I put Killian away, and then walked back out front to check on Oscar.  I walked out just in time to see a huge owl take a swipe at my cat who was trying desperately to get the heck down off that pole before he became dinner.  I ran out and yelled at the owl who lighted on the high line and watched my kitty.  I started throwing rocks at the owl and yelling at him to leave. Oscar made it down and was hiding in the bushes in the neighbors pasture, but I couldn't get to him.  Finally the owl flew away, but I still could not get Oscar to come out of his hiding place.

Finally an hour later Oscar came in the house, no worse for wear, but he did stay in for the rest of the night.  I guess that was a little more excitement than he cared for in one night.

So my time now will be spent trying to keep myself busy with my other horses, so I am not missing my paint horse.  There is plenty to do, as always, so that shouldn't be so hard.

My trainer just called me and told me about her first ride. She said that I had really done all the hard work and that she feels she can do a lot to help Trax to take him to the next level.  Next week I will head down to her place and we will do a one on one, but she was very happy with the progress made in his first ride. Her first goal will be in how he carries himself.  He will carry himself correctly if asked too, but she wants him to do it on his own.  She feels that once he has that in place, the rest will come pretty easily.

I am excited to see the progress and hope that once he gets there, I can step up my riding skill to keep from letting him fall back into bad habits.

Now it is time to get to work.   Hope everyone is having a great week!


  1. I was taking Stewie out for a potty break last night and scooped him up into my arms as soon as I realized their was an owl right above us watching intently. Then after we went in the house, it sat outside our window hooting.

    That's nice that your trainer called in a progress report. I don't think any of my horse trainers back in Nevada bothered to contact me with news. I always had to drive out there and ask questions. One of my trainers in AZ was good about emailing me a report if I was not around at the time she worked with my horse.

  2. Poor Oscar! What a day kitty had! So glad it turned out okay.
    I hope all your horses feel fine soon.

  3. Make that three owl spotting's. The other night while I was feeding and cleaning stalls there was an owl in the area that kept hooting. I tried my best to locate it but couldn't. It was either up on a pole or in one of the trees. It made such a beautiful sound.

    I have also noticed the one neighbor has been keeping their dog in. At least it isn't yapping it's damned head off while I work the horses. So annoying!

  4. Poor kitty! Glad you are able to get such great body work done on your horses. Good news on Trax!

  5. I really value body work on my horses, it has made such a difference in their willingness to be worked.
    It's also really nice to have a trainer so handy that can help you get to the next lever- I'd be down there a lot if I had a trainer that close!