Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barns and vet visits

I was also tagged by Jesse, but unfortunatley, I don't think there are any horse books out here at my parents house (aside from perhaps some of mine in boxes in the shed). I'll have to wait till I get back to ID.

So, I saw the Washington Post article on the mustang rescue, and I also read what Fugly Horse of the Day had to say about it. Fugly really pisses me off sometimes. I don't really know what to do about this mustang situation (well, actually, I'd like to see less taken off the range, and look into alternative sustainable management...we'll probably have to euthanize the cattle that they are competing with instead (kidding...)). My big beef with the Fugly blog is the fact that she tends to be so negative and acts like a horse is not cared for properly unless it is cared for the exact same way she does hers...and you need lots of money to care for horses like that. Anyway, done ranting.

I sent an email to someone at the OR/WA BLM horse program to see if I can track down Chico and Catlow's dams. I want to find them. If I can swing it, I'd like to adopt them.

Today, I took some "after" pics of the barn. The barn is just an old tin shed that my grandpa built in the 70's for his cows. It's holey and rusty, but with a good load of sand and some lumber, it makes a great horse shelter.
This is before we made it horse safe...

And this is after...we covered the corners of the tin and nailed boards up inside to give them and L-shaped area for shelter. We also brought in a load of sand and smoothed it out.

I still can't believe the horses are really here!!!

Today, I worked with the 3 horses. I took Cody for a bareback ride around the property. She became nervous once out of sight of the others, and whinnied for them a few times (meanwhile, Chico was screaming in the background). She was okay, but was very fast (fast walk). We did trot and canter a little and she was good. I didn't boot her at all because the ground here is so gentle on a horse's feet, compared to the ground in ID.

Then I took Chico out for a bareback ride. Since he's not lame, I'm going to ride him. I think it might help break up the puss in the wound. He was quite eager to get out and see things, but then after we crossed the ridge, he became a bit more uncertain and nervous. He was also very fast...when Chico walks really fast, it's almost like he's gaiting because of how short his back is.

After his ride, I loaded him into the trailer and we took him to the vet in Sparta (amazingly, there is no one near us who will see horses, guess maybe there's a niche for me after vet school?). The vet said she thought this was an older injury that had abcessed because she didn't think that a wound he got only a few days ago would be draining puss like this without having heat or lameness. So, there is no heat in the injury and his temp was not elevated. She rinsed it a lot, and thought that whatever was in there causing the abcess had probably drained out previously with the puss. She thought there was no need for systemic antibiotics, so gave us this salve to use on it to help drain, with the instructions to flush it with dilute iodine once every two days. The bill was VERY cheap compared to the one for this same injury previously in ID. I won't tell you how much, but in ID, they charged over 4X as much to probe the poke from the stick, and tell us that he didn't have wood in it (which it turns out that he probably did). They sedated him that time (not sure why) so maybe that explains the difference?

During the visit, the vet asked me about ID and why I'd moved back. After I told her I had applied to vet school, she invited me to ride along with her on her appointments to see what this large animal/equine thing was all about. How cool! I think I'll go early next week (after I get my manuscript edited and submitted).

After we got back, I took Catlow out of the pen (she didn't try to avoid me this time). I loaded her in the trailer and gave her some oats in a bucket inside. We continued to go in and out, grabbing mouthfuls of oats whenever we were in. She was definitely hesitant about going in at first, but after she discovered the oats, she relaxed a bit. Then I took her for a walk (thought she needed to relax more before I ride her out). She was actually pretty good on our walk. I've had her be worse before. She was definitely nervous, and I had to constantly wiggle the rope or back her up to remind her to walk next to me, not lead me. And she was definitely huffy about me asking her to flex, but she did everything I asked. I think I'll ride her next time. Once back at the barn, she was very relaxed. I guess they think of it as home now!

I think my dad and I might try to go for a ride tomorrow. We also need to put up fence.


Andrea said...

It sounds like they're settling in well. And that's great about the vet! What an opportunity.

I don't read that blog. I don't like her or her followers, I prefer not to acknowledge their existence and make them feel special, which is what I think they get off on. So I don't know what she said but I bet she's feeling pretty righteous, as usual.

Linda Reznicek said...

Well, Arlene just did a Smack-Down with whoever "Fugly" is--and I don't follow either, but I went there to see what it was all about. There was a mix of rational horse owners with heart and odd balls. The amazing thing is that she has so many followers--why on God's green earth would people follow her rants?? It's like they worship her over there. Whenever people start leaving their brains at the door and blindly following a cult type personality--watch out--there's no end to the bad they can do.

Sounds like there's some nice people out there in Wisconsin--and congrats on arriving safe. That hole almost looks like he was hit with a pellet gun or something. Odd.