Sunday, 25 January 2015

Weird Winter

There's not much new to report.  I saw Walker for the first time in two weeks on Saturday.  I managed to get sick and just couldn't shake it for about a week and a half.  Luckily, he seemed to manage just fine without me.

Other than that, we seem to be having a weird winter here.  It is neither cold nor snowy, which puts me on edge.  I mean, Walker is still eating grass.  In Atlantic Canada.  In January.

I keep waiting for Armageddon or the end of the universe or something.  This can't possibly be our Winter...

And the worst part is that if it is our Winter, I'm kicking myself because I'm not able to ride him in it!  Just.  My.  Luck.  For the first time in my life, the perfect Winter comes around and I'm just sitting on a couch eating nachos looking at pictures of my horse when we used to ride.  Sigh.

As for lessons, I'm on a bit of a hiatus from them as well.  I figured that if I decide to commit to driving 1 hour to lessons every couple weeks or so, I should at least wait until the worst months of Winter pass.  It would suck even more if I could only go infrequently and the few times I did go got cancelled because of a storm.

In the meantime, I am still loving boxing, and I have taken up adult beginner ballet.  I kid you not.

I'm now an equestrian boxing ballerina.  Major street cred.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

As Expected

Walker won.

We did not successfully deworm him.

I will need to get him checked in a month or so but we're just going to drop it.  He successfully evaded our every attempts, and we ended up squirting the dewormer into oblivion before even getting the chance to twitch him.

We had been at it for 40 minutes anyway.

He continuously put his head up and down, and then when we tried to grab his lip to twitch him manually, he used that strong quarter horse neck of his to resist us.  Which was fairly impressive.

Then I resorted to using treats to coax him to get near my hand so that I could grab his lip.

He countered by coming down for the treats, taking them at lightning speed and throwing his head back up.

Most horses would shy away from the treats after the first attempt of us trying to take advantage of him.  But not Walker.  He knew, of course, that he could take advantage of us.  So he did.

He got his treats AND he didn't have to be dewormed.

Walker - 1.  Natalie/Barn Owner/Barn Owner's Husband/Child Down the Street Enlisted to Hold the Treats - 0.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Deworming Prep

My barn owner is insisting we deworm Walker this weekend.  I tried to get out of it by telling her that I normally get a fecal sample done and then let the vet tell me what to do.  She countered by telling me that she spoke with a vet who thinks that the three boys should get done now and then maybe we'll be able to manage them and the fields so that it won't have to happen again for another year.

Solid reasoning.  Except she has never given Walker dewormer.

And neither have I.  Ever.

This is not to say that I have never had Walker dewormed.  Oh, he has been dewormed.  In the first year, my barn owner helped me.  Those were the easy days when you could deworm him without even putting a halter on, but for whatever reason, I never did it myself.

In the second year, he got sick.  That's when he started getting oral meds 2x a day by the vet and when he not so secretly vowed to never let another human near his mouth with a syringe.

Since then, only one person has ever been able to deworm him, and folks, it's not me.

My barn owner seems to think that as a team of three, we can deworm this horse.  I just laughed and told her I'm buying a twitch.  I'm hoping it won't come to that, but - well - it's probably definitely going to come to that.

Updates to follow.  Probably from the hospital where I'll be having them relocate my shoulder or fix my broken nose.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year!

I tried to post on Christmas but I am only now discovering that it never published. Oops.

My computer is also a mess and hardly works these days. I'm actually writing this on my iPhone because I gave up waiting for it to load on my computer.

This is usually the time of year where everyone talks about all their accomplishments from last year and their goals for the new year.

I'm not going to do that. Due to many unforeseen circumstances, I have very few horse accomplishments this past year and for the same reasons, I'm not going to make horse related goals for the new year.

That being said, Walker is doing fantastic. If nothing else, this last year has taught me the importance of time. We are at a point where we think Walker might make a full recovery in the spring. He will never be 100% but he is going to be pretty close. 

This time six months ago, I didn't even know what his life expectancy would be. No one thought that he would ever really be comfortable even with bute.

This past week, he threw a shoe. With the combination of the cold ground and his bad feet, we fully anticipated keeping him stalled and on bute. Instead, he stayed out and never went lame at all, even though the farrier couldn't come out for a few days.

He is happier than ever. He is the king of his little herd of three and he is treated like a God both by the other horses and by my barn owner. She now even changes his halter regularly so that it can match his blanket.  In her words, "we wouldn't want him to clash."

It doesn't get much better than that, folks.

Not to mention that he has probably put on 100 pounds. We're working on that last part, but needless to say, he loves it.

So I did not become a fantastic rider this past year. Guess what? I'm not a superstar. But I did improve the life of a well-deserving creature, and I will continue to make that my goal for the new year.

Happy New Year everyone!