Friday, November 22, 2013

They Still Have Four Feet

It's been one of those weeks, where at the end of the week, I still hope the horses have four feet since I haven't been able to do justice and do anything with them.

Between the twelve to thirteen hour workdays and another little snafu, I haven't been able to go out to the barn.  Unfortunately, running out there at 11pm isn't in the cards for me.

Enter, my little snafu

She doesn't have a name yet.  We picked her up from my SIL last Friday and she supposably came with a clean bill of health from the animal shelter.  This is the short version of a much longer, sadder story.  But regardless, I realized my new to me kitty had some problems.  She wasn't eating or drinking and had developed a pretty severe respiratory infection.

 One positive thing is that one of my part time jobs is working for a veterinarian so I am able to access medications, fluids, and so forth for a much more humane cost.  Unfortunately, I still get the luxury of paying full price for the blood work that was sent out.  I love it when free things aren't really free.

But that was OK.  At least it looks like after many, many hours of force feeding, running fluids, and so forth that this little kitty is turning over a new leaf (or catnip?  What would a cat turn over anyway?  A mackerel?)  She ate about half a teaspoon of food last night, which has left me on a cloud high enough, it would be the equivalent of really nailing a riding lesson.  Also on the positive side, it appears her antibiotics are beginning to work. 

Hurray.  I could now go to the barn for a few hours without worrying that I was going to find a not so lively kitty.  Plus Friday was my day off, which meant the whole work thing wouldn't be so interferring.

I found that the semi feral mare had indeed managed to return to a state of feralness (not a word, but now it is).  She is also in heat.  One of those things may definitely correspond to the other.  She danced, she pawed, she was generally obnoxious.

I have been trying to get away from the need to lunge my horse (ala Arabian style) before riding because 1.) my horse needs some TLC on her legs now post injuries and 2.) she often goes into auto lunge mode and doesn't watch her footing so she has a tendency to slip and slide on the arena footing.

But tonight was one of those lunge-before-riding-to-assess-the-brakes kind of nights.  She was a bit of a dork, once again, so lots of transitions and a bit of CTJ.  She is a really sensitive horse, so I always feel like a bit of jerk when she is harshly corrected and looks at me with those big doe eyes, but hey, if you're an idiot, expect to get corrected.

So, I decided to go ahead and saddle and ride the critter.  I did go for the western saddle just for extra fun though.  Also, I was wearing snow pants (seriously) over my breeches since I apparently don't own any winter breeches despite living in the frozen tundra.  I really just didn't want to take the snow pants off to ride either on what was probably a frisky horse.

She really wasn't too bad though.  A little bit of dorking around and not wanting to be soft or give to the bit.  Lots of good circles to the right and then her brain work up a little.  Left still was not so warm and fuzzy looking, but we did a couple decent looking circles before calling it a night.  Walked down on a loose rein, even on the scary end of the arena. 

Why is it that horses associate with having a scary end of the arena anyway?

Since they are calling for a massive drop in temperatures overnight and blustery winds tomorrow, it was time for an outfit change.

So I now present...

The headless horse.  Just kidding.  She still has ears.

Not to be forgotten, the little red filly had a workout too.  She was pretty good, despite her cold weather spunkiness.  She just seems to enjoy working and interacting with people.  I have her tail up now to try and see if I can get it to grow to an appropriate Arabian-style length.  I took it down and maybe it's just my imagination, but it looks longer (and certainly) cleaner than the usual status of her tail.

Giving a new conditioning spray a try...My husband won some Equi-Spa leave in conditioner a while back, so I put that in the filly's tail and put it back up.  Anyone else have experience with Equi-Spa products?

So all in all, good night and good end to a crazy week!

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