Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I just realized it's been over two weeks since I posted anything.
I have my, reasons:
I got the flu, big time.
Then I got pneumonia.
I missed two weeks of work (and drug myself through the third, because I just couldn't afford to get any farther behind).
We have a new student at school who is sapping everyone's energy with his out of control behavior.

I have gotten a few things accomplished, in a round-about way.

I rode Beth, just at a walk, at the trainer's last weekend, just before bringing her home. The previous weekend I just barely had the energy to learn a little bit of Blake's style of groundwork with her.
She has been reintroduced to the herd, including Jackson, with whom she's never shared a space, just met over the fence. I've done a little ground work with her, but other projects that HAD to be done (see below) prevented having enough time to do a ride without rushing, which is not the way to go with a young horse. I'm going to try to get on her today for a little walkabout.

When Beth came home from the trainer's place, she went in with Maddie, who had been separated from Kate and Jackson for her trips to town that same week. This Friday, Kate and Jackson went into the biggest pasture so Jackson could learn his way around with the sedate Kate--he had never been in this pasture last year with his mama. Saturday morning, when I could keep an eye out for any inappropriate hi-jinx, Maddie and Beth joined them.
Although Maddie sometimes seems to be bossing Jackson around, she also seemed to stay between he and Beth at first--guess she's just being a big sister. It's getting to the point that it's hard to tell the two apart! Jackson is obviously a little smaller, tho he's catching up quickly, and has a black spot in the middle of his mane that Maddie doesn't have, and a little more black on both sides of his barrel/shoulders.
Kate is obviously the one they all look to as leader, and that's nice, 'cause she'd rather eat than be too stupid!

I FINALLY got my irrigation running. I had to rebuild the primer pump twice! When I finally got the main pump running, I had minimal pressure to the system, signifying a major leak somewhere. Before walking the system, I luckily noticed that the future pond site was filling with water, narrowing my search considerably. Upon further investigation, there was water pouring out of the ground near the base of one of my sprinkler risers. I thought that some helpful equine had used the riser as a scratching post and bent it too far, a once or twice yearly event, but when I dug it up the riser was intact. It seems that that section didn't drain correctly last fall and froze over the winter--there was five foot of the 2 inch supply line that was shattered. A quick trip to town for repair parts and voila! we have sprinklers! I still have two minor leaks to fix, but I'll wait until I get the whole place watered once, especially the baby trees.

I've started to get caught up on everyone's feet, Kate being the worst. Jackson's fronts are done, have to get to his rears now (with my back, I can only manage two feet at a sitting). Blake did Beth's, and put shoes on her! He wanted to get her out into the rocky hills by his place, but unfortunately didn't have the chance (except for one trip where he led he across the creek and around the area, where she was very good). Did RT's a couple of weeks ago, when his girl was here to visit, next Mama Misty's turn.

Speaking of feet, when the gal from the west side of the mountains came to look at Maddie last month, besides thinking Maddie was too short strided for a floaty dressage trot, she thought she saw a little bit of an off step on Maddie's left front. I invested a little to have Dave Hazlet come out to check her feet. Dave is recognized as probably the best trained and most experienced therapeutic farrier in the area. I also asked for feedback on how I was doing on my trimming.
Dave commented that the scariest thing for a farrier to hear is "I've been trimming 'em myself for a year now..." So I was relieved when he said I was doing a good job balancing all the angles. He thought I was a bit conservative in how much I take off, and thought I could work on getting the heels a bit lower, to insure a good match of the pastern-hoof angle.
Dave did not find anything sore in the foot, so last week I hauled Maddie into Dr. Mark Hayden, twice, to try some diagnostic work.
At the trot in the round pen, again, she was just a little short (though better than the day the lady came to see her), with no obvious lameness. But with various flexion tests she was definitely off on the left front. With some nerve blocks (one in the hoof on the first visit and two above and below the fetlock, the second) Dr. Mark was able to narrow the location to the fetlock. X-rays showed no damage to the bone, so he said if we wanted to be conservative, we could give her a couple of weeks rest, with some bute for the inflammation. But she already had several weeks off since the gal pointed out the ouchiness (tho without the bute), so I felt we needed to move ahead. His suggestion was to do a cortisone injection, and if that didn't help, we could forge ahead with some ultrasound, to examine the soft tissues (tendons and ligaments). He did not want to further irritate the joint that day, so we scheduled her in again next week for that. While she's there and sedated, she's due for her teeth to be done....This is getting expensive!

I skipped a poker ride yesterday (that's when I got the irrigation running--yeah!) but am hoping, now that Kate's feet are done, to haul down to a little trail course playday in Yakima next weekend. I may take Beth along as well, just for the exposure. May only do in-hand stuff with her, I'll have to decide on our collective frame of mind when we get there. I promise, I'll get pictures!

This sequence was last evening.
Jackson meets his first cows close up!
Yo! Whos you guys?!?
Wachu doin bak der?!?
Yikes! He tuchded me!
You bettr bak off!