F@%&ng Shoe Boil

So I was working on a post about my last lesson but that is going to stay in my drafts while I complain about something else.

Last week, I came down with a lovely cold or other virus. I started feeling crappy on Wednesday. By the time, work came to an end, my head was spinning and I just wanted to lay down. Of course, hubby and I had an appointment to see two houses with our realtor that night. I went and checked out the houses and was relived when we did not like either one. That meant I could go home and lay down! Hubs went out the barn to water because he is a superstar and I went home to lay down.

I ended up staying home from work on Thursday and alternated between reading and napping. Friday, I felt a bit better, so I dragged myself into work so that I would get paid for the holiday. By the end of the day, again all I wanted to do was lay down and rest, so home I went.

For those keeping track, that is three days that I stayed away from the barn. On Saturday, I was feeling more human and went out to check on the ponies. I figured I would fuss over Sissy and give Sting a little lunging session to get him out and moving. Sting whinnied at me and I put his halter on and pulled him out of his stall.

As we walked down the aisle, I noticed that Sting seemed to be walking a little stiffly which I thought may be because the horses have been in due to the near constant rain. He also was breathing heavily with flared nostrils. Once I got him in the crossties and took a step back, this greeted me on his left elbow.

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Son of a….

ARGH! Sting had a nasty shoe boil about a year and half ago, that took forever to re-absorb. Finally, it had gotten to the point where it was just a slight thickening on his elbow and I had rejoiced. Well, now the shoe boil is back. Ugh.

Since Sting was breathing heavy and sweating, the barn owner N took his temperature. He had a fever of 103. I called the vet and left a message while N dug through her tack room looking for a shoe boil boot. The vet, Doc J, returned my call and asked if I wanted him to come out and see Sting. Yes please, the shoe boil has returned and he definitely has an infection. Doc J was about an hour away but he would start heading towards the barn.

I groomed and left him in the crossties while I puttered around. Sting appeared much more comfortable and took a little snooze. When Doc J arrived, he took a look, agreed that there was an infection and proceeded to give Sting shots of antibiotics and also bute. He left Uniprim, steroids, and more bute for the next few days. He said he would be back out on Wednesday to see if Sting would need another injection of antibiotics, unless things looked worse before Wednesday.

I put the shoe boil boot on Sting and put him back in his stall. Doc J and N left and I went to finish up watering the barn. By the time I got down to Sting’s stall, he was sweating and breathing heavily through flared nostrils again. Compared to his snoozy manner in the crossties, I thought maybe the lack of air movement in his stall was bothering him versus the slight breeze in the crossties. I called hubs and asked him to bring out Sting’s stall fan. Once hubs brought that out and we hung it up, Sting cooled down and appeared much more comfortable.

The next day, hubs and I came out to check on the ponies again. Sissy was fine and Sting’s shoe boil looked no worse and Sting’s demeanor was much better. Hubs and I hung up all new water bucket for both Sting and Sissy (they both enjoy sitting on their buckets and Sissy also enjoys pooping in hers to show her displeasure). We also fixed Sting’s stall mat and dropped off molasses so that Sting eats all his various powders. Here’s hoping that the shoe boil heals well.

I hear that some horses are able to lay down without ever having to wear special protective gear. Well, not my two! Hock boots and shoe boil boots, I think they are teaming up on me.

Mystery Sissy – an Update

Hubs and I got back from Kentucky on Monday and after picking up our dog, Pepper (another story for another day), I headed out to the barn to check on Sis. The barn owner, N, let me know that the vet did come out to take a look at her hock and that she would meet me down at the barn when I got there.

I arrived at the barn and immediately high-tailed it to Sissy’s stall. I said hi to her, threw open the door, and saw…a silver hock. N arrived shortly after I did and explained that the vet felt the hock sore was caused by how Sissy lays down and gets up these days and then an infection set in. He gave N some Alu-Spray and she had been applying it daily. I thought her hock looked better. I didn’t poke at it too much but from what I did, Sissy did react like it is still pretty itchy.

N wanted to show me the spray and that is where we get to the first of Sissy’s overreactions. Alu-spray comes in an aerosol can and when N shook the can, Sissy started to snort. Once N started spraying, Sissy started spinning. We re-captured Sissy and N finished spraying her hock. N did remark that Sissy had been super easy for this previously and I said that Sissy felt like since I was back she had to put on a show. ‘Mooommmmmm, they’ve been torturing me with scary spray and I’m itchy and I haven’t been groomed and why did you leave meeeeeeeee.’ was what Sissy was telling me.

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Hello, my name is Sissy and I’m dramatic and demanding

N also told me that the vet thought boots to protect Sissy’s hocks were a good idea, which was good since I had two different types of boots in all sizes to try on her. I had ordered hock shields online and I figured if I ordered everything, I could return what did not work. I pulled Sis out and stuck her in the cross ties while I put the boots on her right hock (the uninjured one). The hock shield ultra ended up being the winner and I started to pack up the other boots while chatting with N.

This leads us to the second Sissy overreaction of the night. I looked back and Sissy was staring back at her right hind with a worried expression. Then she began to snort. Great….she’s scared of her own boot. I turned to grab her lead rope and Sissy started to snort and dance. By the time I got her lead rope on, I was starting to worry that she was going to slip and fall from all the dancing and snorting. I dropped the cross ties and Sissy took off down the aisle. As much as a 26 year old horse with a bum leg can take off. I was able to keep up at a light jog. Clearly, the hock boot was an instrument of torture and must be escaped.

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Have you ever seen something so frightening?

Two laps up and down the aisle and Sissy started to be resigned to her fate. I stood with N, chatting about Rolex and the barn going-ons, which scratching Sissy’s withers. N remarked on Sissy’s neurotic tendencies and offered to hold her while I put the second boot on. I put Sissy in her stall, where she showed her displeasure towards me by barely taking an offered treat.

Yesterday, I headed out to see how the hock boots held up. I saw that the right boot must have fallen off, as it was hanging on my stall door but the left boot was still on and covering the sore. After taking it off, the inside of the boot was pretty dirty while the sore looked relatively OK but the Alu-spray had rubbed off. I sprayed her hock again and then I cleaned the boots off and left them to dry. I gave Sissy a long grooming, groomed Sting (muddy, muddy gelding), and gave Sting a quick lunging session. Right before leaving, I put the boots back on Sissy and there were no dramatics. I’ll head out again tonight to see how things look. I’m thinking I might ask N to take the boots off in the morning and apply the Alu-spray. Then her hock can get air during the day and I’ll come out at night to put the boots back on.

Seats – a rant

So hubby and I are at Rolex this weekend and I have a rant. Or a complaint. Or maybe I’m annoying.

We got stadium seats for Friday dressage. We sat down in the morning and watched tests, then took a break for some shopping. Came back to watch tests before lunch  (and also to be sure to see Michael Jung).

We then got some lunch, finished walking through the trade fair, and went back to watch the remainder of dressage.

When we got back to our seats, they were occupied. In fact, the whole row was full. Now, could we have possibly sat in other seats, sure. But we paid for those seats. Those are our seats. Plus, if we sat in other seats, what happens when the people who have those seats come to sit down? If no one sits in their purchased seat, why even bother selling seats? Just have a freaking free for all and punch it out.

Hubby went and kicked the women in our seats out. Now, I understand that this was a pain in the butt. Hubby had to enter the row, then exit, then the seat stealers had to exit, and then hubby and I had to walk in. And I swear, we tried to be quick and as non-intrusive as possible. But the ladies at the end of the row just acted so put out, complaining about having to stand up and sit down. It was really annoying. And those ladies had not been in those seats earlier. Those seats were occupied by drunk girls. So either the drunk girls stole the seats or the ladies were seat stealers themselves.

We finally got settled. However, we still weren’t in our correct seats. Two women pointed out that one of our seats was still occupied (what the f) and shifted down one so one of us could sit in one of their seats.

So it all worked out, however, all three times we came back to the seats, different people were around. I don’t think KHP does the best job marking the sections but seriously people. If you’ve purchased a seat, that is the seat you sit in. Period.

Mystery Sissy

Hello world! I am back-ish. Alternate titles for this post – Are you kidding me, why, horse, why?, Worst horse mother ever.

So the back story –  last summer, Sissy developed a bald spot on her right hip. Looking at it, my fear was that when she laid down, she was struggling to get back up with her bum leg and scraping her hip against the ground. I did my best to doctor it but the spot just kept getting worse and larger. So one day, I slathered the spot in Corona. I mean Sissy looked like she had been claimed by the Uruk-hai (if Uruk-hai rode horses). I then put her in her stall and went to water the barn. By the time, I got to Sissy’s stall and peeked in, the Corona was gone. What the fuckity-fuck, I thought. Where did the Corona go? That stuff is so thick and doesn’t absorb. So I walked into her stall, looked around, and saw all the Corona rubbed off onto the post by her stall door. That little stinker! She had been itching herself raw on her hip and giving me a guilt attack.

So from then on, I changed my treatment plan. Sissy would receive a daily hose down of her hip, then let the hip dry, and then follow that by a generous spraying of Blu-Kote. Or as I call it, the purple. With this treatment, her hip slowly starting to heal up although I actually did catch her itching her hip a few times in her stall. Finally, hair started to grow back and by this spring, you almost can’t even tell.

However, this winter, Sissy did develop a hock sore on her left hock. She does lay on her left side, so this would be caused by difficulties in getting back up. I have been diligently spraying the sore with Blu-Kote or coating it with triple antibiotic. She did pop out an abscess earlier this year and was on a month treatment of Uniprim too.

Last week, I pulled Sissy out to groom her and her hock sore looked terrible. I started to poke at it a little bit and Sissy reacted like this was the best thing ever. Sissy is sensitive to bugs and generally an itchy horse who enjoys being groomed. Well, when I touched her hock, her reaction was ‘right there, OMG, so itchy, scratch it, scratch it now!’ She leaned into me, stretched her neck out, and began grooming anything in sight. When I stopped, she waved her leg in the air, not to kick me but to bring my attention to the fact that she wasn’t satisfied.

I talked to the barn owner, who wasn’t surprised that Sis would get a hock sore but was mystified by how itchy the sore was. I cleaned her hock more aggressively then I had been, taking off quite a bit of scabbing and hair. Then at the recommendation of the barn owner, I sprayed Banixx on the hock and also on her right hip, which I can tell she is rubbing again.

So last night, I went back to the routine and hosed off Sissy’s hock, which she enjoyed so much, she nearly knocked hubby off his feet trying to groom him. I also hosed her hip off as well. After time to dry, I liberally applied Banixx to both areas and asked the barn owner to have the vet take a peek at her hock the next time he is out. I’ve also ordered hock shields for Sissy.

Of course, this would all happen right before hubby and I are leaving to attend Rolex. Of course. Last time we went to Florida, Sissy popped out a huge abscess and needed treatment. I get it, Sis, you don’t want us to leave. Please stop removing large areas of fur to make yourself look terrible and for me to feel like the worst horse mother ever.

So I’m mystified. Is the sore being made worse by a fungus? Is Sissy having an allergic reaction to something? A barn friend commented that her hock almost looked like it was a chemical burn. Could she have reacted to the Blu-Kote or the triple antibiotic? But why is she itching her hip again then? Well, I will keep you posted on this mystery.

Made it Monday – Italian Sausage and Pasta in a Cream Basil Sauce

When my best friend and matron of honor threw my bridal shower, she decided on that the shower should be based around food. She made my Dad’s famous shredded barbecue beef and she asked everyone to bring a recipe card with a favorite recipe which were then collected in a recipe box for me. It was an awesome bridal shower.

The recipe that my then future sister in-law gave me was Italian Sausage and Pasta in a Cream Basil Sauce. At first, I was skeptical. But then we made this recipe and I ate my skepticism along with the delicious pasta.

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Yes. All of this.

Notes

While definitely not the healthiest of options, this is so tasty. Hubby is not generally a fan of cooked tomatoes but he likes this. We generally make this during the summer when we have fresh basil growing. However, it is so rich, I must limit myself to one bowl. The only time I ate two bowls of this pasta, I ended up greatly regretting my choice later as my stomach staged a rebellion. So one bowl only and then leftovers!

A History of Saddles – with pictures!

As I think about buying a new saddle, I realized that I’ve only ever owned four saddles in my life. Considering that I started riding at age 8, got my first horse at age 15, and am now am a bit older than 15, that seems like a low number. Looking back at photos, I’m realizing maybe these saddles weren’t the best fit for me and maybe I have no idea what I need for a saddle.

Saddle 1 – Courbette All-Purpose

Ok, the with pictures part was a lie because I have no photos of this saddle on my computer. I may have bought it (well, my parents may have bought it) before I even owned Sissy. I do remember finding it at a tack sale and loving it. I think I had a year or so but it was too narrow for Sissy and gave her a sore back. Leading to….

Saddle 2 – A Collegiate Hunt Saddle

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A younger Sissy models the saddle

 This saddle was a close contact saddle with a pencil knee roll. I loved it. I believe the fit was good for Sissy or at least it looks OK from this photo. But for me however…..

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We are so young here

Uhhhhh, is there any saddle in front of my knee? Is my knee on top of the knee roll? Hmmm, let’s take a look at the saddle while in motion.

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Sissy used to jump. Wasn’t she cute?

So let’s George Morris this picture. First, my knee is acting as a pivot point and my leg is slipping back. I should get more weight down into my heel and let my horse’s jump close my hip angle instead of pivoting on my knee and jumping ahead of the motion. On the plus side, my back is flat, I’m looking for my next fence, and my crest release is good with my hands pressed into Sissy’s neck. My stirrup probably could go up a hole, except wait! I think that might put my knee in front of the knee roll.

In other news, didn’t Sissy jump cute? This is my most treasured photo of her jumping. Oh, the days before digital cameras.

This saddle stayed with me and Sis for a while until a hole was worn in the seat from the fact that I used to ride in jeans all the time. This lead to….

Saddle 3 – A Pessoa A/O

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Sting models the Pessoa during our first ride together

I still own this saddle. It was purchased from our local tack shop and I thought it was the most amazing saddle ever.

 

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Sissy and I in the Pessoa. I have no idea if the date on this photo is correct. Considering I’m wearing a sweatshirt, I doubt it.

This saddle is a better fit for me then the Collegiate. In the photo above, my stirrups look pretty long but I have room in front of my knee to go up a hole or two. Let’s look at some more photos of the saddle in motion.

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Sting and I at a local hunter schooling show. 
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Sting over fences

The standard is blocking my knee in this shot but I can see some of the same issue in my photo with Sissy, pivoting on my knee without enough weight in my heel. Plus a rounded back for some reason.

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A picture of a picture! I love this one.
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Dressaging in a hunt saddle

So the Pessoa is definitely a better fit for me looking at the photos. However, there are some moments where I think I still maybe could use a more forward flap or maybe a larger seat. I remember one time I was jumping Sting and he started to crowhop. I actually felt my knee slide in front of the knee roll and I remember thinking ‘Hm, this is interesting. I better keep my shoulders back otherwise this knee roll is going to act like an ejection seat and toss me to the ground.’ I stayed on but I definitely didn’t feel like the saddle was there for me. So let’s move on to…..

Saddle 4 – Stubben Tristan DL

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Do you also jump your horse over 12 inch obstacles in a dressage saddle?

Out of all three saddles that I have pictured, I would say the Stubben is the best fit for me. It is also the only dressage saddle. I like this saddle.

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Dressaging

This was a fun trip down memory lane for me. So what say you after seeing the saddle photos?

Things I am not good at: Running

Last year, I went to a new primary care doctor. Of course, having gone to the doctor, one topic of discussion was my weight. Ugh. What do you eat, how active are you, try to eat less, be more active, loose weight. Blah, blah, blah. Well, I did decide to take at least part of her advice seriously and be more active. So I found a 5K put on by the local baseball team and hubby and I signed up.

Now, I am terrible at running. I heard a story on NPR about how one Kenyan tribe contains some of the world’s best runners which made me realize why I might not ever be a good runner. The story talks about how the bet runners have thin legs and ankles. A runner’s leg basically is a pendulum and more weight in the runner’s legs and ankles takes more energy to move. Well, I have always had super wide calves and ankles. Also, super tight hamstrings and apparently my hips are weak and not very flexible also.

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Pretty much me

But I was determined! I would practice! And I would run on the field during the 5K. I started by downloading a couch to 5k app for my phone. We started slowly and I got better. I was even able to say short sentences to my hubby whilst running! A conversational jog (or wog since at times I bet I could have walked faster.) But then the shin splints got me. I tried to keep going but after two weeks, my shins hurt when standing, walking, and when riding, the stirrup leather even bothered them.

After taking some time off, and buying new shoes and some fancy-smancy compression socks, I recovered and we went for the 5k.

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Running on the field!

Our time was nothing spectacular and we walked a lot but we also finished and had fun.

This led to signing up for another 5k night run with our neighbors the next month. And then I got a hair brained idea that we should do a 5k every month for a year. So 12 5ks. We are a third of the way through. And I’ve lost no weight and I’m not really any better then when we started. Sure, I do feel in general my cardio fitness is better but the actual running is tripping me up. On a treadmill, I can power through because all I have to think about is picking my feet up and putting them down. The terrain stays the same. On land, I get tense about tripping or slipping and then once I get tired, I can’t find it in me to push on and power through.

I keep hoping that I’ll get better somehow. I’ll improve and be able to run an entire 5k in a respectable time. And the next time I go to the doctor, if she tries to tell me I need to add activity, I’ll point out the running, and the gym membership, and the horseback riding. And then I’ll tell her to suck it.