Saturday, December 31, 2011

I think he raced with blinkers...

We tried longeing for the first time today. Oh em gee. Let me illustrate:

Shuttup, I never pretended to be artistic.

Going to the left, he figured it out pretty well and was more or less able to walk in circles around me. At one point I tried getting him to trot, but he wasn't interested in moving faster than an amble.

The right, however... oh dear. I had to give him a couple feet of line, stand at his hindquarters, with a hand on him to keep him moving and away from me. Next time: Long lining and a helper.

Here's a little video of our pathetic longeing. (Don't worry, I do have a pink saddle pad.)

The eaten out middle of the round bale makes a good grain bucket holder.

Big big day planned for tomorrow!

Friday, December 30, 2011

It's a long story.

I've mentioned my dearly departed gelding but haven't gone into detail... well, now you get more details than you wanted. If you want, you can skip to the bottom of this post and just watch the video, it pretty well sums things up.

Feb '07 - Barn owner (not River's barn owner) got a call from a local trainer about a young Thoroughbred he'd gotten off the track. The horse was a bit off and the trainer wasn't interested in coddling him. Barn owner mentioned it to me and said the horse would be free, I said heck yes get him! I was there when he arrived, my first words upon seeing him were "ooooh, I like him!" Horse was Imafavoritetrick, a 2001 OTTB. He didn't have a barn name, I came up with "Wilson" (after the character from the TV show House) and fought tooth and nail for it for about two weeks before the barn owner (and his owner) gave up and let me name him Wilson. He had a big knee and was lame on it, but perfectly happy.

April/May '07 - We took Wilson for x-rays. We took him off the trailer, and the vet took one look at him and said "oh, this horse is screwed." (Yes, that's a direct quote.) He did x-rays and his verdict was, well, it wasn't the worst knee he'd ever seen--the implication of course being that it was darn close. Vet said go ahead and turn him out, nothing you do is going to make him any worse. So he got turned out and I even rode him a bit.

Toward the end of the summer, he was doing well. On his good days, he was nearly sound. I kept hope that the vet would be wrong and he'd get better.

(He was a shooting star for Halloween.)

Feb/March '08 - New vet, new x-rays. This one's diagnosis was Wilson would have to be put down fairly soon and should be kept in a stall with as little movement as possible to avoid aggravating the knee and making it worse. After a few days of crushing disappointment, we basically decided to ignore that vet. If his life is going to be dramatically shortened, then he was going to enjoy his life. Wilson was already my spoiled little baby boy, so he got even more spoiled.

July '09 - Long story, I bought Wilson for $1. He moved to another barn for a few months and then moved in with my mare (not where she is currently).

Fall '09 - New vet, new x-rays. Showed him the old ones, he asked if I really wanted to bother getting new ones. As expected, the knee is terrible, lots of arthritis and stuff. Keep him on bute to keep him comfortable, be prepared to make a decision in the foreseeable future.

Fall '10 - Same vet, new x-rays, this is bad, he's going to need to be put down soon. Keep him on bute and hope for the best, be careful in the winter.

He got to spend quality time with the cows.

Spring '11 - Mare had her baby, Wilson was having fits about not being able to be with her and see the baby. Developed an abscess in his good front foot, horribly lame. Got it drained, abscess in a hind. At this point, it's not looking good. Treating the abscesses is a nightmare because he can't bear extra weight on his bad leg, the pain was too bad.

June '11 - Set up a vet appointment to see what's going on with these abscesses. I know he won't last a lot longer, but hoping we can keep him going through the summer and put him down before winter. Finally decide he can't keep doing this.

June 3, 2011 - My baby boy is gone.

Why does all this matter? Wilson was the first recently off the track TB I'd ever met. He was my baby from the moment he stepped off the trailer. He came from the same track as River. He was sweet and wonderful and a jerk to other horses. He was the first horse I named, the first horse I owned, the first horse I put down. So much goes back to him. I don't know what things would be like if I'd never had him. I don't think I'd have ever gotten River if I hadn't had Wilson.

I love you, baby. I'll see you later.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

We're back

Yes, I've been negligent in posting. I didn't get out to the barn for a couple days, so there wasn't much to say. Let's see....

Now that Christmas is over, candy canes are 50% off. I didn't have a cart or basket, so I only got 6 boxes. But since I also have 6 or 7 bags of individually wrapped mints, we're probably okay for a while.

The funny thing was the checker. She asked if all the candy was about gone, and I explained that I just wanted candy canes because my horses like them. "Excuse me, ma'am, did you say horses?!" The woman had never heard of horse eating candy canes. We chatted for a few minutes about horses and the things they eat. This remind me of a friend's recent Facebook status... her horse was off and looking to be brewing an abscess, so she went to get supplies. Her status was wondering what the checker thought about her purchase of diapers, duct tape, and candy.

Thanks to our lovely cold weather, the ground is frozen and yucky again. Riv is doing okay, though. One of his legs is a bit swollen, no doubt from navigating the ground.... knowing him, he was trying to chase someone off his food. I really wish we would get some good snow, we need a layer of cushion to make the ground easier to handle. I was going to try longeing him today, but with his leg we had to postpone. And by "longeing" I mean "putting him on a long lead and ask him to walk and maybe trot three steps to see if he understands the idea."

They recently got a fresh round bale and they've already just about demolished it.

Well, at least they're not peeing on it.

Awwww, he really is cute. This is after he was mugging me for treats, and then had the nerve to spit out the candy cane and try to interfere with me feeding the Mare. Excuse me, mister, if you don't want the treat I give you, then you'll do without. Or, one of my favorite sayings, "you'll get nothing and like it!"

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Guys, it's River Mountain Rd. You can call me River, the crazy lady does, even though I never gave her my perms..perim.. permish... oh road apples, I never told her she could. I need help. This is really really bad. Look what she's making me wear:

See? It's awful. I'm so sad I can't even pick my head up.

Please don't look at me...

PINK FLOWERS. That whacko lady is making me wear PINK. FLOWERS. Hey stupid lady, I'M A BOY!

I'm trying to be strong. I don't want her to know how much this upsets me. But.... pink flowers??? I can't do this. I can't. I heard her talking to the Hay Lady today. Do you know what she wants to make me wear? A PINK BLANKET. PINK. BLANKET. The stupid halter is bad enough. Do you know what the mares will do to me if I have a pink blanket? Stupid wimpy Gryffin is going to look like a total stud next to me in a pink blanket.

Hear that? They're laughing at me. The girls are laughing.

But you know what, Crazy Lady? You want to ride me. Heh heh heh. You might want to reconsider making me wear pink... you might have a more wild ride than you are expecting...


What have I told you about using my computer? Stop being such a drama queen. Real men wear pink. The mares think it's cute. News flash: You might be a boy, but you're a gelding. A nutless wonder. Trust me, the girls were laughing at you long before the pink flower halter. And if you even think about being naughty when I ride you, your suffering will increase a hundred times. If you think the halter and possible blanket are bad, you don't even want to guess what other horrors are in store.

Merry Christmas, buddy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011


My sister got me a $50 SmartPak gift certificate for Christmas. River could use something fun, I just don't know what. He's good on halters and leads. I have a pink saddle pad, but only one and I'm a total saddle pad addict. What about this pad with burgundy trim? I have barn buddies, so free embroidery... I like the recycle symbol with "River Mountain Rd" under it in pink. It's not excessively frou-frou, and the recycle symbol is fitting. And also a pair of Woof Wear boots with pink straps. Any other suggestions?

I got a fun new halter for him, but the pictures I got are too washed out and I don't want to spoil the surprise by posting not-great pictures, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

He has a weird head. The top of his head is too narrow or something, so his ears are too close together. He always looks sweetly dopey.

Well, except when he's being a jerk to Irish.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Being boring

Sorry, nothing very interesting on the River front (ha ha!).. I didn't see him Wednesday because we had our office Christmas party (which means yummy cocktails!) and today I stopped by for a few minutes.

Horses are stupid. They had a bunch of fresh hay tossed out in the paddock. They all ignored it to dig strands of hay from the round bale out of the mud. ?????? Idiots.

River is getting better about respecting that when I'm in the paddock, *I* am in charge. He tried to run my mare off once, but he backed off when he realized that he was on thin ice.

Here's an illustration. I hope it compensates for the lack of entertaining posts.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

River is not an only child.

As I have mentioned, River is not my only horse. Here is an introduction to my other ponies.

Striker is a 24 year old Thoroughbred who is incapable of acting his age. His show name is, for good reason, "Suicide Run". He was the first horse I took a lesson on, the first horse I leased, and we're still together. It's been nearly 6 years since the first time I rode him. Now we're an old married couple. He annoys me, I annoy him, he behaves himself for me and drags other people around when they try to lead him. I can't bring myself to get annoyed with him for that; I rather think it's endearing. Striker is the horse I lease.

Next up is Irish. She's a 17 year old Thoroughbred who is rarely addressed by her name. She usually goes by Mare, Red Mare, Mare-Mare, or Beautiful. I've been riding her for about 4 1/2 years, and I've owned her for a bit over 2 years. There's a very long story with her, but in short she was given to a scumbag horse trader behind my back while I was leasing her, without her owner's knowledge or consent. I got her back in the end, thank goodness. In some ways she's perfect for me, in others she's perfectly wrong. Mare is me in horse form... sometimes that's a good thing, because I know how to get her to do what I want. Sometimes our similarity is bad, because we feed off each other and a situation gets worse. Unfortunately for her, she's stuck with me. Mare lives with River.

And last, but certainly not least, is Lily. Lily (AKA Pig, Piggles, Pigs, Piglet) is an almost-8 month old Thoroughbred/Connemara cross filly (registered and branded ISR, Premium awarded). She is Irish's baby and was conceived while I was still in the hospital after falling off Irish and breaking my leg. Lily was quite beautiful as a very young foal; she now unfortunately bears more than a passing resemblance to a poorly-bred mule. Pig is a stubborn, feisty, attitudinal little beast. She's also very affectionate, if a little too demanding at times.

I know, I know, you look at the fuzzy muley beast and wonder what on earth I was thinking, and how much did I pay the inspector to make her a Premium foal? But honest, she was once a lovely filly:

She's going through a rather unfortunate phase now...

And there you are, my other horses.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why yes, my sanity is in question--the bigger question is, has it even not been?

I was looking at the Finger Lakes Trainer Listings today and checked out the sold horses to see what horses have recently gone home. Naturally, I had to look at River's listing... Call me a dork, but I got a little emotional and proud to look at his pictures and know that he is mine.

I'm also surprised to look at the pictures and see what he looks like without a serious case of the fuzzies and a generous mud coat. Did you know he has three white socks?? I'd completely forgotten!

Tomorrow's tentative vet appointment is canceled. His legs have been normal for several days now, so there's no point having the vet out after the problem is gone. I wouldn't mind having him out, but I'm sure he has better things to do than look at a horse who has nothing wrong with him (other than being owned by a crazy person, that is). My poor vet, it's only a matter of time before he blocks my number. They must think I'm completely bonkers... "Well, I have an appointment tomorrow, but his legs have been okay for a few days now so I don't think he needs it, but I wouldn't mind if you want to look at him but if it'll be an inconvenience to come out we can cancel but if it would be an inconvenience to cancel I'm happy to keep the appointment, whatever you'd prefer."

At least I know I'm a bubble off plumb and try to rein it in.

Well. Setting questions about my sanity aside, let's focus on what matters: River's healthy legs!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Channeling Veruca Salt

I want it NOW!!!!!!!

It is December 18. Two weeks from the start of next year. Two weeks more of River's absolute vacation. Well, not quite absolute... at some point before the end of the year I'm hoping to stick him on a longe line at least once or twice. I really want to ride him. Two weeks. I want it now!

Warning: Ridiculously long and whiny. Feel free to tl;dr.

This may be a wee bit tricky, though. Here's a day in my life:

Wake up by 7:30 or 8, get ready for work, take care of the dog, drive half an hour to work and get there by 8:30 or 9. If I'm planning to see River before work, wake up a half hour earlier.

Go to work until.... whenever. I work at a primary care physician's office. Our official hours are until 5, but sometimes we're done sooner and sometimes later. This time of year when everyone has the sniffles, it's usually later.

After work, drive 10 minutes to the barn where the horse I lease is. Figure 15-45 minutes there... usually on the low end, I clean his stall and leave. Every once in a blue moon I ride.

From there, 5 minutes to barn number 2. Clean my stall, bring in and feed the four horses there, and feed the poor, abused, starving barn cats (*rolls eyes*).

Then half an hour to barn 3. Check on River and my mare in the pitch dark. Barn hours are only until 8pm, so I have to hustle at barns 1 and 2.

Finally, a 10 minute drive home. Take care of the dog, dinner, shower, bed.

And that is my life Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I don't work weekends or Thursdays, but I generally go in at least one extra day a week to catch up on stuff. Oh, and somewhere in there, work on my Master's thesis proposal, arrange meetings with my advisor, and next year find time to conduct original research, analyze the results, and write up and defend the paper.

At some point, I would love to ride regularly. I really just need to get into it. I haven't really ridden in a long time now because of my injuries. It's been about 2 years. The broken leg/torn ACL I already mentioned, but before that (November 09) was a broken finger that required surgery. Before you ask, yes, it was a horse injury. Helpful hint: When long-lining a horse, if you are a clod and trip and fall over your own two feet, do not clutch the lines so your horse doesn't get away. She'll blithely keep walking and your ring finger will snap in a way the radiology tech at the hand surgeon's office has never seen before. I am nothing if not unique. Where was I? Oh yes, riding. Well, it's rather tricky to ride without a ring finger, so I basically couldn't ride for close to 2 months. By the time I could, we were well into the dead of a Western New York winter.. which means absolute bitter cold, the type of weather you avoid at all costs.

Then, in April, I managed to fall off my mare and sprain my ankle. I will kind of blame her for that. I asked her to walk over a slightly raised pole. She launched over it and I came off. Okay, yes, I probably shouldn't have been sitting back on a long rein, but come on! And of course, a month later I broke my leg and all that. (And by the way, that darned ankle wasn't healed until several months after I sprained it.)

By mid-Fall last year, I could technically ride, but it was so painful I didn't usually bother. Why go through the trouble of grooming, tacking up, and going to the indoor only to ride for 5 or 10 minutes before it hurt too much to continue?

Now, I am finally, finally well enough. As long as I remember my NSAIDs, I can ride. The problem is it's been so bloody long since I really, seriously rode that it's hard to get into it. Which is a shame... For as long as I could remember, I wanted a horse, I wanted to ride. When I was little I would go to sleep on Christmas Eve and hope there would be a horse in the morning. Silly, because I never told anyone how much I wanted to ride, even if it wasn't my own horse. When I finally did get into horses in college, I was passionate and rode as much as I could.

I want to ride. I know once I'm on, I'm happy. It's a bit like watching Jeopardy! when I was younger. I never wanted to watch it because I thought I didn't like it, but I knew once it was on I enjoyed it. If I can just motivate myself to get into the bloody saddle, I'll be grateful I did.

Part of it is sometimes I just want to go home. I'm almost always gone 10 or 12 hours a day. Sometimes, I want to go home and sit in bed with my dog and a cat and read a book and relax.

Wow, what was this? I start off whining that I want to ride River and end by whining that I do and don't want to ride at the same time. Feel free to smack me, to yell at me for being so ungrateful. I have wonderful horses I love, I have exactly what I dreamed of for so very many years, and still I can't appreciate it. Geez, I am ridiculous.

This post has been depressingly picture-less. Here's me and my mare, who has caused every one of my memorable horse injuries. More on her some other time, this post is plenty long enough.

Guess what!

River's legs are normal! My BO and I think it's largely because it warmed up and the ground is no longer frozen, making it easier for him to move around. Of course, it's currently 18 degrees out (after being in the high 50s on Thursday), so everything is freezing again. On the bright side, that means no more mud! Keep your fingers crossed that River's legs stay normal!

A couple nights ago, Riv and I had a frank discussion about boundaries. He gets a bit too enthusiastic when he sees me coming with his grain and doesn't want mealtime to end. The other night I was opening the gate to leave after he'd finished eating and he refused to leave me and the bucket alone, and then had the nerve to pin his ears when I smacked him, which of course meant he got yelled at again for daring to be rude to me. He got the point and minded his manners after that.

Two of River's favorite things: Food and mud.

River has also completely gotten over his fear of the mares. Instead of running from them, he runs them off if they get too close while he's eating. Silly boy, that's not how you impress a lady!

He has such an adorably dopey face.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A day late...

Yesterday ended up being a bit hectic, so this post is a bit late.

River is doing much better! Unless he had a setback after 8 last night... I was helping a friend clean and pack so she can move into a new apartment. I didn't get to bed until about 2AM, and waking up extra-early to visit River was just not going to happen. Oooh, I saved this post a few hours ago because I was busy and in the meantime my BO let me know he's still doing well!

His right front looks really weird in this picture. It's not in real life.

My ponies! So cute! Except the mud is nasty. How was it over 50 degrees yesterday in mid-December just outside Buffalo?? Plus the pouring rain we had. Ugh. But ponies! Cute!

Poor River is so abused...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


As of tonight, River's legs are almost back to normal! YAY!!!!! Please keep it up, please keep it up, please keep it up!

Progress? *knock on wood*

River is serious about his Bucket O' Grain and Antibiotics. The horse he scared off is Gryffin, another Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred.

His legs were still not great yesterday, but they're definitely better this morning. Keep it up, Riv! I talked to my vet, I'm going to keep him on the antibiotics a little longer and we have a tentative appointment on Tuesday.

Note to self: use disposable gloves when smearing your horse's legs with petroleum jelly. On the bright side, my hand has never been so moisturized. Or greasy.

Also, Horse Tack Co. has an Amigo turnout blanket in rose/pink in River's size. Ahhhhhhhh! Sooooo tempting!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Awkward Encounters at Wal-Mart

The checkout lady must have thought I have some major skin problems. One of these days I'm going to get brave and buy a bag of carrots along with the petroleum jelly.

Also, why can't people count to 20? If we're in the fast checkout lane for 20 items or less and you're in front of me with a whole cartload of stuff, I'm not going to be happy. Especially when you're too busy chatting with the people in the next lane to pay for your more-than-20-items and get out of the way so I can pay for my stuff. I have no patience for stupid, selfish people. 'Tis the season to be merry...

Yay! The food lady is here!

Who's a handsome pony?

As you can see, the horses have learned to stay well away from River while he's eating.

You can see how lovely the ground is.

I love how soft his eye is.

Yeah, this is the best picture I could get. He was begging for treats/attention.

His legs are doing better again. Still some swelling, but down from last night. I'm going to call the vet anyway. He's supposed to get 2 more doses of antibiotics, but if we're changing anything I need time to get it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Step Forward, One Step Back and Sideways

Not a whole lot to report today. This morning River looked pretty good... well enough to chase off a mare who dared look at him eating his antibiotic/grain/molasses mix. This evening, his legs were getting puffy again.


It's hard to tell in the dark and uneven footing, but I think he's getting scratches or something. Tomorrow's plan: while he eats his yummy antibiotics, I clean up his legs as best as I can and slather on petroleum jelly. In the evening, clean him up, see if any scabs or anything are loosening, put on antibiotic ointment, top with petroleum jelly. Repeat. Depending how he looks in the morning, possibly call the vet.

It's kind of a lose-lose. When it's muddy, everything is gross and mucky and nasty. It finally gets cold enough to freeze, and now the ground is hard and uneven. I'm quietly spazzing. I really just hope he needs to adjust to his new life and toughen up.

Anyone else find it incredibly ironic that an 11 year old war horse needs to toughen up?

River, you are so lucky you're cute.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Boy Colors are Magic

This morning, I put a blue blanket on River.

This evening, his legs have improved!

Ahhhhhh!! Dressing him in boy colors really works!!

Poor guy is kind of a wimp, though. I think the change from working on a groomed track and being in a stall 24/7 to suddenly being out in a muddy paddock 24/7 messed him up. Today I noticed a scrape on one of his hind heel bulbs--my guess is he scraped it on the ice. He got his legs brushed off and puffed with Gold Bond medicated powder.

He was put back out with the group today, idea being that being with friends will encourage him to move and get rid of the puffiness. Whether it's that or the boy color blanket, I don't know, but something is helping. The legs are still swollen, but there's definite improvement.

His girlfriend was a little too interested in River's Bucket O' Grain and Antibiotics

(After this he pounced and ran her off. Meany.)

River says "Go away, I'm eating and you ran out of peppermints."

A little about me

Yeah, okay, I know you're more interested in River than me, but too bad. Feel free to tl;dr this post.

I'm 26, in grad school, and been horse crazy my whole life, but I only got involved with them when I was 19. I didn't start really riding for another year and a half. (My riding experience before consisted of riding and falling off of my friend's sister's friend's ponies, and a couple trail riding things.) So I've been riding for about 6 years. I don't really have much to show for it, either. I haven't done much showing, and nothing besides local schooling shows.

At this point, you're probably wondering, why the eff did you think it would be a good idea to get a fresh OTTB? Well, um, hi, have you LOOKED at the pictures of the OTTB in question? I might be a bit of an idiot, but I'm not stupid.

And anyway, it's not like I've ever ridden a really GOOD horse. I learned to ride and jump on a horse who enjoys galloping flat out to the fence and then slamming on the brakes at the last second. I've worked with a horse who thinks it's fun to randomly take off bucking for no reason whatsoever. I took a horse from jumping groundpoles like they were 3' to doing 2'6"-3' comfortably. And I have worked with one recently off the track TB before (that's another post for another day).

So, while I am admittedly not the most qualified person for River, I'm not the least qualified either. Probably.

Here's me and my dirty stopper, first and only time over 3'6":

And the psycho overjumper. Just pretend my leg isn't terrible:

There is one thing that may very well end up being a problem when we start riding, so I'll lay it out now so things make sense later.

Yeah. I had a little riding accident in May '10. I was out galloping my mare, got near the end of the path, started to ask her to slow, she started turning to the left, I fell off the right, my left leg got stuck in the stirrup, and that there is the result.

Oh, and this:

Those two white things that the arrows are pointing to? Those are the two halves of my ACL. Which shouldn't be in two pieces.

I am, however, a stupid crazy horseperson, and was back on a horse 5 weeks post-injury when my surgeon told me I was "weight bearing as tolerated". Which obviously means "go ahead and ride a horse." Obviously.

(Not the horse I fell off.)

So... I had a rather nasty accident which involved a helicopter ride, a lot of titanium, several days in the hospital, and multiple surgeries--one to fix the broken leg, one about 2 months later to replace the ACL, and one a year after the accident to take the titanium back out.

The point of all this? I have some confidence issues. I'm getting better, but when you're used to bouncing and getting right back on the horse, being laid up for months kind of messes you up. So if, at some point, you're wondering why I'm being a wuss, you have your answer. The drugs you get with a badly broken leg are good, but they aren't that good.

Here's to hoping River is a good boy. And that someday the confidence comes back.

Friday, December 9, 2011


River is so darn lucky he's adorable.

I went out this morning to give him his antibiotics and check on him. We had a little conversation--

Me: I'm getting a new blanket ready for you to keep you warm!
River: *shakes head*
Me: You don't want a new blanket? But this one's blue!
River: *nods*
Me: *squeal*

Awwwwww! Now all I have to do is promise him a boy-colored halter and he'll agree to anything! Hmmm, maybe I should tell him he can have a non-girly halter if his fat legs go down.

Also, a new modem and a new router later, my internet at home is working again! Yay!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Somebody shoot me, please.

River is a fan of symmetry.

Heaven help me.

My vet is going to fire me as a client. I haven't called him about this new development... yet. Today's his day at the track (not the one River came from), so I'll wait until he's probably done with that to bother him.

I went out this morning to give River his second dose of antibiotics (2 down, 12 to go), only to discover that now his right FRONT is swollen in addition to his right hind! Wow, thanks, buddy! I do prefer even numbers and symmetry, so it makes me SO happy that you decided to have an even number of fat legs. I don't even know WTF he could have done this time. There's a slight hint of warmth on the back of the pastern, but nothing like how the hind was. (Thank goodness for the past tense, the heat is mostly gone from his hind.)

So now River gets to spend the day in a stall. He'll have to go back out at night because the baby comes in at night, and her stall is next to the stall River hasn't broken yet. Those two stalls have a removable wall so they can be made into one big foaling stall. The wall is a little too easily removable and we can't risk them knocking it down during the night and hurting the baby. As much as I'd like to keep River in until he's better, I completely agree that it's not worth something happening to the baby. At least it's getting cold enough at night that the mud is freezing... FINALLY. So I'll just have to clean the mud off River as best as I can before he goes out, coat him in Gold Bond/Desitin/petroleum jelly, and hope he doesn't get too yucky.

At least he isn't really bothered by the fat legs. He's getting his racing plates pulled next week, so maybe that will help. River, please please please don't develop a chronic problem, I'm BEGGING you. I gave you a home and clothes and friends, the least you can do is stop getting injuries! You survived HOW long on the track just fine? You have no excuse for this.

I'm praying he just tweaked something in the mud, first from being rude to the other OTTB and then from being a drama queen in his solitary confinement (sharing two fencelines, though!). Please let it go away quickly. Pleeeaaaaaaassssssseeeeeeeeee. Please!

You can see how bothered he is by this.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

8 Days and 8 Hours

That's how long we made it without catastrophe.

My plans for the evening: Take care of the ponies, go home, watch Dexter, eat dinner, go to bed.

Taking care of the ponies started off okay until it got to our featured character. I brought him in to eat his beet pulp and noticed his right hind was swollen and he was holding it up a bit. Felt it and there was heat at the back of his pastern. Greattttttttt. I called my vet who recommended SMZs and wrapping. Okay, I'll pick up the SMZs in the morning, wrap him tonight and keep him stalled until it's better.

I should point out at this point that I'm a little sensitive to this because I've known a horse who ended up with horrible, chronic lymphangitis/cellulitis. His legs are now the size of tree trunks. It's really really nasty. I don't want that happening to River.

He's also got some redness at the back of his pastern which worries me a little.

You can see he's not hugely swollen....

Anywho. I happened to have wraps in my car, so I went and told the BO about it and got some wraps. River was having kittens because OMG his friends were outside and he wasn't!!! News flash: You've known them for a week. You don't like each other THAT much. I hosed off the mud and set to work wrapping him. Got him all set with not too much fussing and decided to give him a candy cane.

Wouldn't you know the spoiled jerk doesn't much care for candy canes? Why plain wrapped peppermints are so much better than candy canes is a mystery to me, but then I never claimed to be a peppermint connoisseur. Where is the catastrophe? I, uh, didn't quite shut the stall door when I went in. You can see where this is going.

He snuck out, ripping half the door off in the process, and proceeded to take a tour of the property. Did I mention this was at night? Pitch black? In a drizzle? And mud?

The only good thing is his Rambo sheet has reflective tape on it and I was able to kind of see him. My barn owner came out and we eventually caught him. He couldn't go back in his stall because he, you know, broke it.. so we had to put him back outside for the night. He's in a separate paddock so he can't get into trouble. (He was apparently being mean to the other OTTB who is too much of a wimp to stand up to him.)


I think he's trying to make me regret getting him. Bad bad horse. Or maybe he's like a foster child who doesn't trust adults and is bad on purpose to drive people away before he can be rejected by them.

Why did I think it was a good idea to get another horse?