Saturday, May 31, 2014

A lot, but That's Horses

"I'll post that tomorrow." becomes "I'll do a week recap post." becomes "Ughh, so much to catch up on and it's stressful, I don't wanna."  But in the spirit of horse bloggerdom* here I sit, ready to catch you all up on what some of you already know, and others will be surprised to read. It seems these days easiest to break the story recaps down by critter name, I am literally to the point with dogs and horses where I'm calling them the other's ones names like a person with a lot of kids. 

First, the easy ones! 

Scrappy is looking great, his saddle marks have grown hair back in wonderfully and only my total distraction over other horse, dog, and life issues have prevented me from trying out the treeless saddles still sitting in my tack room. Soon! 

Desire is queen boss as always, happily retired in pasture as my main filly babysitter, Mini horse torturer, and general Meal timekeeper. 

Blaze is looking great, he's maintaining a really nice weight for him on his diet right now despite a light work load. Other's would still call him rotund but you can just feel/see the line of ribs when he moves out and he is shiny and sassy as can be.

Rory is looking better every day, and is becoming a total convert to the Human Experience. She has started hollering at us when we drive in and is getting better at replying to "FILLY!" when I randomly call it, something that always got a goofy yell back from Sheza and that I love to do. 

Some photos from last week, thinking about being caught..
..45 minutes of mellow evasion, tahdah

 the Aurora's ;-)
brave girl marched around drinking from all the waters and investigating
 mentally tired, still wearing a little dewormer, decided that she ground ties ;-)
 She licks her mash bowls clean now, loving the timothy/alfalfa pellet and SafeChoice mix. We've had a couple of great haltered sessions and so far she is truly living up to the steady Rushcreek reputation despite not having been born to the range scenario.

***And now, for some drama! ***

Rambo began to weave last week. I saw him doing it one evening by his fence line and the rhythmic motion of his head back and forth immediately caught my attention. It was far enough out and he didn't have a fly mask on, so I had a passing notion that maybe, just maybe, he was scratching his forehead on the fence/keeping flies off with the rhythm. My gut told me that it was the early stages of that neurotic weaving I have only seen in unhappy, stabled, or lonely horses. He is living on Sheza's Hill in my 2nd biggest pasture and sharing a fence line with Scrappy, so it's a pretty ideal scenario but I do know that he has an active mind and wants to be engaged, something that his not-improved leg doesn't entirely allow for.  (full Rambo back story here)

he's certainly happy in his groceries..sigh

 I kept his fly mask on 24 hours for a couple days but sure enough saw him weaving at the fence line, in the mask, the next evening. He only does it for about 60 seconds at a time so far but I know that it can become a very nasty habit and need to be proactive immediately. My husband, used to my program of fixing up and rehoming horses, is ready for Rambo to move along and find his home, especially with the advent of the weaving. I understand his point and yet don't feel comfortable rehoming Rambo with his bad leg, nor can I risk my youngsters/competition/old horses in a herd setting to see if that would make him happier, especially with my husband wishing him to move along.

I very seriously considered the option of humane euthanasia as I do feel that that is the most responsible action to take for a hurt or unhappy horse, who's safe future once out of your hands you simply cannot guarantee. Anything else is what-ifs and maybes and fairy tales; even with a buy back or return contract and even with a sound horse, horses are going down the drain in terrible situations all over the country daily. 

Still, with the herd scenario still a very real possibility to quiet his mind and buy him time for his leg to heal, I reached out to a good friend who runs a wonderful local horse program, Back in the Saddle Project. Not to derail but there are many "horse rescues" out there going about things all wrong, and BITS simply isn't one of them. Deb is the most hard working, tireless horse advocate I've had the pleasure to be around and by that I mean she is out there at all hours --after her full time job-- all over CA, not just saving horses but actually rehabbing, evaluating, training, and placing them. Nothing about helping horses is easy, certainly not even giving them a dignified and humane death, but also that step beyond just "saving them" and actually going the extra mile to make that horse whole again, trained, and given a partner and a real life is huge and it simply isn't done well very often in my experience. If you have time please do check out BITS and donate, foster, or adopt as you can.

Website and Facebook:

Back to Rambo, I asked Deb if she had a herd setting he might be able to try out, to see if that didn't stop the weaving and give him the mental stimulation he needs for a time, while giving his hind end more chance to heal. Since BITS is local it would also be a safe location I could reevaluate him in *and* the perfect place to find another suitable home, if that were to ever be a good option for him.

As it stands now, Rambo heads out to join the BITS herd next week! 
Sheza brought her own drama to the table this week, but first, let's acknowledge (in my case revel in) how wonderfully she has been doing up at Moore Horses, here are a couple photos sent along by trainer April:

Wednesday evening Sheza went out for a short ride with trainer April, and on return the only thing evidenced was this tiny bloody dot on her left front:
 Upon returning an hour and a half later from riding another trainee, April discovered Sheza swollen up and favoring that left front. Here it is cleaned up, clearly minimal, but the swelling and lameness was undeniable:

Sheza patient. The hospital kind, not the calm/non pushy kind ;-)
I am so fortunate and grateful to have April on the case, as she was sending me photos and updates immediately and set aside her schedule to take Sheza in to the vet the next morning, due to the nasty location of the puncture and swelling and the sudden onset lameness.

at vet next morning

 We got clear x rays on Thursday and the doc was fairly certain the tiny puncture wasn't even an issue, but due to the lameness and what he felt may be suspensory ligament pain, we opted to send her on to the doc's other facility for ultrasounds as soon as he could, which was the next day.

The vet called me yesterday afternoon with the good news that without any Bute for over 24 hours the swelling and lameness had decreased markedly, but I still opted for ultrasounds to be sure. Fortunately they were affordable through the vet and it gives me the peace of mind to truly know what is going on in her young leg. Within an hour or so Doc was back on the phone with the happy news that the ultrasounds looked good and she had most likely just whacked her leg and sored herself up. He recommended a couple of weeks off and a possible vet reevaluation before resuming work. PHEW!!!

April picked Sheza up at the vet last night and took her back home and as you may imagine, Princess face was not very amused at how her life had been going the last few days. Ooo cranky filly face!
In happier yet news, April messaged me this morning to say that the swelling and lameness is essentially gone! 

After discussing it with April, Sheza will be staying up there for the few weeks of rest, and in theory finishing her work with April when the leg is better. I have no reliable horse vet all of a sudden down here so her staying up there with April also ensures Sheza's  leg can be reliably rechecked by vets that saw what happened if necessary. It is of course totally odd to be removed from it all and I miss her and want to be there for every moment, but I also know she couldn't be in  better hands and am totally grateful to April.

PHEW! So that is the horse wrap up. Meanwhile, one of our mini dachshund pups got run over by the Polaris side-by-side, but xrays and a week of rest confirmed him to be okay fortunately. Now he's just covered in random hives for whatever reason. *sigh*  Good thing I don't have human children, and that is the truth!!

*the spirit of Horse Bloggerdom to me is telling it all, the good, bad, and ugly, so we can all learn


  1. Snazzy bandage aside, Sheza is looking fantastic! Sorry for the various troubles chez Redhead

  2. I really like your rambo solution. :)

  3. Poor stressed Rambo. Your place seems so perfect, but it sounds like you've found him a great option. And Sheeza, don't even start that crap already, you'll have years to try and hurt yourself. But she looks great!

  4. SO excited for Rambo! And relieved Sheza is going to be okay. And your doxie. Oh drama. It comes in its over for a time it sounds like in your world!