Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I've been posting a lot lately! Can you tell that I've been procrastinating studying?

So, I heard an interesting fact today...it was from a study published in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology. They analyzed the content of 8 brands of fast food hamburgers. This is what they found:

Average water content was 49%
Average meat (skeletal muscle) content was only 12%!!!!

The rest? Well, it varied, but all 8 brands had the following, in order of amount: fibrous connective tissue, blood vessels, and peripheral nervous tissue. Most also had fat tissue. Then the weird stuff? Some had unidentified plant material (could this be stomach contents?), cartilage, and bone fragments.

Yum...that's why I don't eat fast food.

I laughed when Andrea mentioned her clicker and trying to get Anchor to want to work with her...I laughed because I decided something similar with Griffin this weekend. I don't use a clicker, but I do like to use treat rewards. Well, first you have to get the horse to like treats (and take them from your hand). I offered a treat to Griffin, and it took me repeatedly shoving it between his lips before he finally decided to taste in instead of spit it out. He showed me the flehmen response after his first taste...and then chewed very pensively on the next taste. Finally, toward the end of the lesson (where I also trimmed his feet), he finally took it by choice from my hand and ate it! It's a start!

Monday, September 14, 2009


So, what do you get when you mix riding bareback on a horse that hasn't been ridden in several weeks (much less just not much all summer) and a dummy deer used for bow target practice? Yes! You get dumped in the sand! I had sand from head to toe and in my ears (and other places I won't mention). And, because I wouldn't let go of the reins, I swung down into Chico's legs and now I have a nice bruise on my back from his hoof (he was trying really hard to keep from hitting me, but I was in his way). I'm fine, and once I was on the ground, I could lead him right up to the fake deer and everything was fine, but he just couldn't face it alone.

Griffin is healing well. The swelling is almost gone from his sheath, although he still had a little fluid left under his belly (where the overflow from his sheath area emptied). He's feeling good though, and I worked with him on Saturday and trimmed all four of his hooves again, this time with the hoof stand and rasp.

I wanted to play with Kachina too, but there was no time this weekend.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gelding pictures

My mom sent me the pictures from her camera.

Here is Griffin still recovering from the anesthetic after the "surgery".

These are his small nuts. Too bad the picture is not in focus.

And these are pictures of the swelling from today (4 days later). Do you think it is excessive? I'd say probably not, since he really can't move around much in that small pen, and I am not there to force him to move around. He seems to be walking around just fine though. I figure this pain and little bit of swelling is nothing compared to what it must have felt like when his chest abcessed liquified tissue.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Griffin is a gelding!

Sorry, not much time for posting lately. I don't have any pictures from the big event either...although I know my mom showed up later and took some pictures of me holding the horse nuts.

The whole things was more uneventful that I could have ever hoped for, especially since I have found VERY little time to do anything with any of my horses other than pet them randomly when I am doing their chores on the weekends. It really has been over 3 weeks since I've done anything with Griffin. Yet, I was able to slip a regular web halter on him with no fuss (usually he wears a rope one when I work with him), and brush him down and pick out all his feet. I also spent time pinching his neck where the needle stick would go. He was unresponsive to it.

When the vet arrived with her bucket, she walked into the pen, and Griffin stood with alert ears and was prepared to back away, but she just stood near his shoulder for a bit to let him get used to her. Then she pet him, then went right to sticking the needle in his vessel. After she first stuck it in, he did back up a couple of steps, but she just advanced, pet him, then gave him the first shot that just makes him droopy.

We stood back and let that take effect, which happened very quickly. His lips sagged and he stood with one foot cocked funny. Then she gave him the "sleepytime" shot. A minute later, he was backing up, backed into the barn wall, where he stopped, then just flopped over, rather unremarkably...he didn't lay down nicely, but he didn't really fight it either. He went down well.

Then I was amazed at how fast the actual gelding went. I held his leg for the vet while she did the cut-cut, and it was over in 5 minutes!

We chatted while we waited for Griffin to come out from under the affects of the anesthetic. She dissected the testes and explained all the parts. And she also said that they were smaller than a typical two year olds testicles. She said that he would probably not have been a good breeding stallion because he wouldn't have had the drive to do it. Which I took to mean that if he'd been in the wild, he would have been a permanent member of a bachelor herd. Well, he can be in my "bachelor" herd with 3 mares and another gelding.

Griffin came out easily too. He rolled up, tried to half-heartedly get up a couple times, but decided to wait when it was too much. Then he finally got himself up, and stood for a while.

The vet also confirmed that Griffin is indeed 2.5 years old, and Kachina is 3.5 years old. When I said that I wish she would grow, the vet went off about mustangs, and said that you'll never find a good sized mustang unless they have had a quarter horse stallion put out with the herd (not true - Griffin (from Kachina's herd) is good sized...I think Kachina is a little stunted). I agreed that most herds have had some level of domestic influence, and the vet continued to tell me that "true" mustangs all have long backs, no hip, short legs, big heads and big feet. If they are anything other than that, then they have had a quarter horse stallion put in with them. I pointed out Chico, and she said he has quarter horse in him...which I think is possible, but Chico looks more Andalusian-type to me...but the vet was on a roll. She was using Kachina as her example for this long backed big-headed mustang type...but Kachina has tiny feet (proportioned for her tiny stature), a cute head (with the slight bump above the nose typical of sulphur horses), yes, she has a longish back, but it's actually in proportion with her body. And her hip is not awful...it's just not a quarter horse butt.

She also said that only man makes horses with big butts (which is probably true), but she tried to say that wild horses don't locomote using their back ends to power with. She said only domestic horses do that, which I think is completely false. She said my long back mustang (like all mustangs) use their front ends to pull themselves along and so they won't be able to collect, and I think that's bologna! Wild horses HAVE to collect in the wild on a daily basis as they travel and interact with eachother! Argh...I wish people wouldn't always give their opinions when they weren't asked for. This is the same vet that told me that if you get a mustang as an adult, you'd never truly be able to tame it down. Anything older than a weanling or yearling is too old, she says.

But, she's older, and she does know what she's doing with vetting horses...I can't fault her for not sharing my enthusiasm for mustangs. I just hope she's not spreading that blather around to people who don't know the difference.