Friday, February 24, 2017

Back to sound. Again.

I went out on Saturday holding my breath, would Mia be sound?  Who knows!  The barn was BUSY when I got there, 4 other people were getting ready to ride.  I hurried up and got in the arena first and I was glad I did.  Mia was LIT UP and had zero desire to consider any of my suggestions, like, you know, walk.  Haha.  After trying to get a decent trot out of her for 5 minutes and failing miserably, I kicked her into a canter (which she translated to hand gallop) and we cruised around for about 4 minutes before someone wanted to come in.  I was able to bring Mia to a walk and we worked on basics while people filed in.  After the arena was full of 5 horses, we tried to trot and Mia was still having none of this polite trot crap so we stuck to walk.  But it was very obvious Mia was sound, sound, sound!   And wired to explode.

Sunday I went back out in hopes to get a better ride.  My plan was to go on a 40-ish minute road ride and then come back into the arena and do some real work.  That should give Mia plenty of time to get her energy level down while staying low key, plus we hadn't been outside since November-ish.  When I got to the barn, another boarder was there and wanted to join but also wanted to wait for yet another boarder to arrive so we could all go.  Thankfully I am fairly flexible in plans and went into the arena to see the kind of mare I had while I waited for the others to be ready.  Mia was totally back to normal.  No head flinging, no ball of energy, no bolting, she was totally her normal self.  Normal enough I even put her over a couple of the jumps that were in the arena and she was sane!  We did a bending line and then jumped the 2 fences on angles and Mia was totally chill and relaxed.  Oh mare, you silly, silly thing.  One day you are a freak, the next you are normal.  Stop trying to imitate App in his younger years!

Our trail/road ride was awesome, though uneventful.  Mia balked at a huge puddle, though there was a ditch and rock wall and sign behind it so she may have been balking at that instead.  I pushed her through and she was totally fine to go through the puddle after that.  I had such a fun time chatting with the ladies and being outside in the great weather, high 40's!  Woohoo!  (yeah, that is warm for here right now, it's in the 60's this week!!!).

Monday I rode and Mia was NOT awesome anymore, she was very insistent that I was not authorized to move her haunches and she was not able to slow her trot nor get off her forehand.  I ended up picking up Mr Spanky (named appropriately thanks to Carly) and applied said spanks until Mia's mood shifted considerably.  She was also really lagging off of my left leg so I helped remind her to quicken her response time.  Monday was not a fun ride.

Tuesday I went with some barn ladies and saw the Harry and Snowman movie.  How cool of a movie.  I read the book several years ago and wanted to see the movie, I was impressed at how much footage they had from back in the day.  It focused a lot on Harry's business and not much of Snowman after his retirement ceremony, and it ended on a real downer of his death, but it was a good movie and I would recommend it.  Mia also had her teeth done and had a couple of sharp points, but no issues.

Last night I rode again and Mia was AMAZING.  She was a little heavy and fast at times but she really made up for her attitude from Monday.  Around and round we went and Mia was consistent in the bridle, stayed fairly stretched down and didn't flop on her forehand.  We even did some canter and got some decent canter work!  Her right lead needs to strengthen back up again, but with some clicker work, she tried much harder at the end of the ride lol.  My mare will do anything for treats.

I ride this weekend, go to a horse expo next weekend, possibly a lesson on the 5th, a lesson on the 11th and then I am headed to Florida for a week of beach and racecars (alas, no horses planned).  We need to kick it up a notch, our first show is in a month and a half!  If Mia will stay sound, I think we can do it!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My PSA for the month - REBATES!!!!

So App has been on Previcox/Equioxx since last May.  $2 a per pill (through the vet), it gets pricey fast.  Why do I just NOW find out about this?  Apparently, there is a rebate program through Merial and I just found out about it.  Here is a list of the applicable meds:

CYSTORELIN® (gonadorelin diacetate tetrahydrate)
EPRINEX® (eprinomectin) Pour-On
EQUIOXX® (firocoxib)
EQUIOXX® (firocoxib) Injection
GASTROGARD® (omeprazole)
IVOMEC® (ivermectin) 1% Injection
IVOMEC® Plus (ivermectin/clorsulon)
LEGEND® (hyaluronate sodium) Injection
LONGRANGE® (eprinomectin)
MARQUIS® (15% w/w ponazuril) Paste
SYNCHSURE™ (cloprostenal sodium)
ULCERGARD® (omeprazole)
ZACTRAN (gamithromycin)
ZIMECTERIN® Gold (ivermectin/praziquantel)

If you use any of these, submit a rebate form online at  I got $90 back for my last Equioxx bottle!  The only catch is that it has to be distributed by a vet or official Merial distributor, online places like FarmVet, Valley Vet, etc DO qualify.  Hope it helps someone else, feel free to share!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentines day update

Last Saturday the farrier was out and we were successful in immediately finding a small blow out hole in Mia's outer bar from an abscess.  So she definitely had an abscess.  Unfortunately, she was still quite sore in the outer hind quarter of her hoof, from the bar back.  So she has something else still in there.  She got Sunday and Monday off and I didn't go to the barn because we got a crap ton of snow and then freezing mix and then 30-50 MPH winds which caused massive drifting.  I fully intended on going to the barn Monday but a message from the barn owner said that unless you have 4WD, don't bother.  There were snow drifts reaching almost 2 feet in parts of the driveway OMG.

As someone that doesn't really celebrate Valentines day, I wasn't expecting anything big.  I told SO that if he was looking for hints, the bluetooth shutter remote for your phone was certainly something I would like.  Emma was kind enough to post about it and it was something I decided I had to have and low and behold, it is now mine.  SO told me he hadn't gotten me anything so if I wanted it, get it.  AND I got the flexible tripod to attach to jump standards.  Here's to hoping it works well when the mare is sound ha!  Yes, of course I have tried it out already and yes it does work!  I can't get it to record video, I think I need to download a camera/video app but I haven't played with it much yet.

Spending Valentines with this guy
I went out to see the horses last night, to make sure they were all alive after the snowpocalypse, and loved on App for a bit first.  He seemed to appreciate the attention, even more so when he got an apple AND a banana for dessert.  Mia got attention as well, she sounded like she might be off when walking in the aisle but when I threw her in the arena, she looked fine almost all of the time. I made her trot and canter around for a bit, she hasn't been moving much in over a week, I didn't want to have a big fight on my hands when I got on.  I tacked up and low and behold, Mia was still lame :(

Another boarder was there and said she couldn't really see anything, save for the few times when I called out when she felt really off.  Mia just felt like she wasn't pushing off evenly, and it was pretty obvious under saddle.  Boo.  On the plus side, her hoof is no longer warm and she had no heat/swelling that we could find. AND she is about 85% better.  We cantered a little bit and she feels normal to the left but certainly wasn't comfortable to the right so we trotted off and on for about 20 minutes.  At this point, make it better or make it worse right?  She isn't really bad enough to call the vet out, if it gets worse at least we can find something.

Also with these guys
I then ended my valentines day by having to put a deer down, about a quarter of a mile from my house there was a deer laying in the ditch, watching cars drive by.  I slowed down to look at it, in case it was going to jump out in front of my car, and it was obvious it had already been hit and was paralyzed from the shoulders back.  It could move its front legs and was trying to scramble away, but couldn't do more than throwing its head and neck around.  So I went home and got my little pistol and put it down.  I hate having to kill something, but it obviously wasn't going to be able to survive and it was better than freezing to death, moving enough to get into the road and being hit again or letting some of the coyotes around find it.  :(  What a great end to Valentine's day lol.

I will give Mia until this weekend, if she is still off then I will call the vet out.  I have a tentative lesson (AGAIN!!!!) on March 11 and I need her sound by then!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Lame mare blues

Somehow I ended up being offered a lesson on Sunday, and for half what the past lessons cost. Sign me up! The lesson was with the Canadian guy I didn't care for last summer, but I kept being told that I should try him for dressage so I figured why not. I got up nice and early on Sunday and got to the mare ready.  Her footsteps sounded odd in the aisle way, but there was snow/nice and it was 17 degrees so I didn't pay attention to it, probably ice in her hoof.  I groomed her and she was resting her right hind but I didn't pay attention to it, she is just resting.  I hopped on to warm up and she felt off, but the footing was frozen so I didn't pay attention to it.  

I chatted with the instructor and told him our plans and he had us start trotting.  Immediately she felt more off, I asked if he saw anything in her hind and he said maybe the right hind, she was slightly short.  He had me canter to the left, to really open her up and get her moving. She certainly felt off but he didn't see anything so we changed direction.  To the right it felt like I had a flat tire and I stopped her immediately.  It felt like she was not using her leg at all and she was not right.  Three of us looked at her, felt her leg, poked her leg and watched her on the lunge and none of us could find anything obvious.

Slowmo video, with some redhead sass

We went with the best guess of abscess brewing and gave her some bute and threw her back outside.  There is no swelling/heat/tenderness anywhere in the leg, from the hip down.  Her hoof is minutely warm, something you have to really feel for, so we are not sure.  I gave her bute both am and pm today and she showed no improvement, she is moving the same if not worse than she did yesterday.

Walking/trotting in slow mo

Here are some videos, I thought she was stepping toe first and not putting her heel down on Sunday, video tonight shows that isn't quite true.  She is stepping flat and sliding her leg forward instead of stepping straight down.  I am now not quite sure it is an abscess, I am giving her off until Wednesday and then going to talk to the vet.  Any thoughts?  Does anyone see anything since I am bad with hind end lameness?

The plus side is the instructor didn't charge me for the lesson and he will be coming back out in a few weeks.  I was very disappointed in the lack of lesson and the setback in riding, but one day at a time.  Let's get her sound and then we can ride and then we can take a lesson again.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Getting the jump

After our lesson, I ended up not being able to go to the barn for two days in a row thanks to weather and then sickness.  So last week I only rode once, boo!  I tried to put some real work in my single ride, but I wasn't highly successful as scatterbrain was scatterbrained.  We worked on some dressage and tried more straight.  Mia got it a few times but also got very heavy and fast so we spent a lot of time reviewing basics.  Again.  We also tried going over the pole on the ground at the trot and canter, we did go over it but we only cantered over it quietly twice.  Homework not complete.

Tired appys be very tired.
Last weekend I met up with MC from the barn and we set up a course for angles.  She is training her 4 yr old over fences and wanted to teach angles, I am down for that!  It is a pretty simple exercise, the outside lines are 4 strides and the middle jump is set at a 2 stride distance.  You can then go along the outside or hit either of the diagonals to work on angles.  Since her horse is still learning, I set the poles up as raised poles/half x's with only one side of the pole in a jump cup.  Mia had zero problems with the angle exercise, we jump angles much sharper than this regularly.  Angles and skinnies have been a staple of our curriculum since day one.  What DID Mia have a problem with?  The basics.  Ha!

We laughed about it during the ride, put something hard in front of Mia and her talent shines through and she will go over anything in spectacular fashion.  Put something as simple as a pole on the ground and she just cannot do it.  Hmm.  I am also at fault, for the life of me I couldn't get the distances I needed 50% of the time.  I guess not only Mia needs the work, shh don't tell.  Mia would go over one jump/pole fine but would then accelerate to the next or go over two fine but not the third.  Or we would miss the distance to the first and Mia wouldn't settle her canter to hit the second jump, instead of compacting/expanding her canter, she just plowed forward, faster.  We certainly have our homework cut out for us before we go Novice this year.

Time to jump!
This week, the jumps were still set up so I skipped the boring basics that we should be focusing on, I bumped everything up to 2'6" and did the full exercise.  Mia was so much better than on Sunday, we hit our distance 95% of the time and Mia didn't race off (most of the time lol).  See?  Simple pole?  Unable to function.  2'6"?  Superstar.  Lol mare.  Our weakness?  Mia really likes to speed up in the last part(s) of the element and I really seem to like to get up out of the saddle way more than I should. At the end of the exercise, as long as I really focused on myself, I was jumping very well.  If I did that, however, Mia usually was falling apart.  I need to focus on both of us and my brain isn't doing that multi task well yet.  I keep telling myself we haven't been jumping for months, it will come back quickly.

Last night we worked on some dressage.  I worked on laterals a little and straight a good bit but we really worked on her canter.  I wanted to channel some serious bigger, not faster, let's get some jump in Mia's canter.  More power.  Until this point, we have been dealing more with a slower canter as when she gets faster, she falls flat on her forehand.  Last night I wanted to see if we could replicate some lesson work with a bigger, not faster canter.  People...omg her left lead canter?  Wow.  I wish I had video of it.  Lots of inside leg and lots of outside rein (and even more inside leg) and Mia became this powerhouse. OMG!  She was even stretching into the bridle while doing it, who is this horse!?

Not amused at the amount of effort required for eyebrow sweat
To the right, she came was her normal self though, no worries lol.  No magical switch.  Her right lead didn't have the same success, her haunches wanted to swing wildy, she would swap leads in the rear and she couldn't stop diving forward and going faster.  But if I have learned anything, it is if we can get it to the left, we can get it to the right.  It will just take 4x longer.  If I can get her weakest gait to be amazing?  This is going to be a super awesome year.We have a tentative lesson (AGAIN!!!!!) on Sunday, let's see if it happens!