Category Archives: Horse Chores

It Ain’t Me, Babe

It’s time to take Gabby out for a little walk, a task I did not realize I was dreading until Leah suggested that someone else do it for her first time out in three weeks.  Gabby will probably spook, start, dance, kick, etc which means that (more than likely), I would do the exact same things.  I didn’t really know I was dreading it until I was talking to Dennis and when the subject came up and I made noises like “yeah, sure, I was thinking about doing it any minute now maybe,” he suggested I be extra careful because of the ice.

“It would be awful if she fell,” I said.

“Or if she fell on you,” said Dennis.

That kind of closed the book on the whole issue for me as my ever-inventive brain began to run movies of what it would be like to see 1200+ pounds of bay TB mare falling on me and what it would feel like to go under her bulk.  I also watched “Night and Day” over the weekend, a bio pic about Cole Porter that is more true to its era (1946) than life (it leaves out the awkward bits) and the horse-falling-on-Cole-Porter scene (in Glorious Technicolor!) was also fresh in my mind. I was very very grateful indeed for Leah’s input about a more experienced horse handler (like Dennis) taking her out. 

What I can do today is go out and ride pregnant Sadie who needs some work-out time (I did that yesterday) or Mopey Moe for the same reason.  It’s nice to be useful.

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Coming Home Today

Gabby’s problems remain mysterious.  We know we do not have a fracture or a major degenerative joint disease.  We might have a bone infection of the withers.  But it’s up in the air because if that’s the case, they’re seeing the problem a lot earlier than usual.  She’s supposed to come home today and will take antimicrobials and antinflamatories for two weeks, after which time her fibrinogen levels will be checked and we’ll see what’s what.  I need to remember to get her blanket in my car.  It’s been drying in the garage after a trip to the laundromat.  At least I hope it’s dry.

I didn’t even ask for a prognosis although I guess I should have.  I have to be informed and ask questions about the future AND  I have to take things one day at a time. That’s the way it is with many illnesses, isn’t it? You have to be educated and informed and yet stay in the moment and not look too far ahead (which is where exactly I do not know) and also not get mired. 

Balance balance balance. 

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Filed under Epiphanies, Gabby, Horse Chores

Picking out Feet

I need help with this one — I mean these four. 

When I was riding  Wilco the Friesian, feet-cleaning was the absolute worst part and the hind legs were the worst of the worst.  I’d somehow manage to cajole him into lifting his foot for me and then, with pick in hand, I’d burrow and delve with the pick through the morass of fetlock feathers, mud, horse poo, gravel, and shedding hoof-stuff.  I always worried about tickling his frog (the part in the very center) because horses don’t like to be tickled in the frog.  No, I havn’t done it yet, but I worry.  Wilso, being a Friesian, is big.  Very very big.  Enourmously big.  Not the biggest horse in the world but plenty big and he’s got big legs and big feet and trying to keep his front leg up and steady while I cleaned was murder.  The back ones were impossible.  After each foot, I’d have to stop, take a rest, check my pulse, and wait for my head to clear from the task let alone the slight worry that he would topple over on top of me because I’d compromised his balance.

I know, logically, that it is not possible for me to keep a horse leg up in the air and that I need to let gravity work for me or something.  I think I’m doing too much lifting and not enough strategizing. Aren’t I supposed to rest the hoof on my thigh or something?  And WHY, when I do that, does the horse always have a gastric event?  They don’t have a gastric event when I’m working on the front ones, I swear!  Come to think of it, that’s another thing I like about Sadie — she has such nice clean feet!  I don’t know how she does it, but she does.  The front ones are a joy to clean out and she often lifts her feet for me which is kind and generous (or she gets it or whatever).

So there’s got to be a way to do this without courting heart attack.  Maybe I put my hand too far up on the leg. Hm.

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