Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Finally, Sunshine!

The sun has finally begun to shine here in the northwest. Too bad the humidity has to come along with it!

Yesterday, Darling grabbed the halter and went outside to play with Jet. Jet's still not sure about having the halter put on, and she lifts her head up when you go to reach around her neck. This causes a bit of a problem when you're not six feet tall, as that neck can go pretty high. It took Darling a couple tries, but she did manage to halter the filly without causing her to trot away. While she led Jet around and worked on getting her used to being touched and pet, I was working on Sunny.

Sunny's feet are in horrible shape. In the past few weeks her front feet have shot forward and flattened out. The farrier is unable to make it out until Monday, July 9. I had to coordinate that visit with the vet coming out, as there's no way we'll be able to do anything without a tranquilizer. We're going to try some Ace and see how that works. If it doesn't, she'll need to be put completely under.
The vet was originally going to just give me the Ace to administer myself, but after years of horse ownership, I've yet to do my own vaccinations. Dogs, sheep, yes. Horses? Nope. And I didn't really want to use Sunny as my guinea pig. We could have tried the pour on variety, but it's not as effective. So I'm facing a farm call on top of the farrier. I figure as long as I've got the vet here for the ace, we can also vaccinate both Sunny and Quiet Storm. Then we'll see if the Ace is strong enough to do the trick for the feet. If not, the vet will be here and be able to knock her out completely.
In the meantime, Sunny is in the paddock instead of out on grass. One front hoof has chipped away completely, the other is close to losing that center 'toe'. By next week we may just need back feet done!

Cathcing has improved so much that not only can she be caught out in the pasture (it takes a bit of work, but it can be done), but now that she's in the paddock I've taken the halter off. I'll bet it feels great not to have it on.
I've been treating Sunny for a fungus that has shown up under her forelock. She'd lost a huge patch of hair, and of course the fact that I'm not handling her face every day meant that I didn't catch it right away. I asked the vet about using tea tree oil, and he said that should do the trick. They have a product that works well, he said, but it was rather pricey and of course there's the drive up to the clinic...and with gas prices that would just add another $10 to the cost. So I've made an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial salve and have applied it every couple of days for a week. It must be working, because when I checked yesterday her hair was nearly all grown back.

Sunny's big training step yesterday was allowing me to touch her with the saddle blanket. Still caught somewhere between distrust and stubbornness, she wasn't terribly comfortable with the thought of me carrying that blanket around while she was attached to me via the lead rope. But we walked a few circles, then I began working my way into a smaller circle, getting closer and closer. I kept myself even with Sunny's shoulder, and let her circle me for the most part. When she finally stopped, I'd also stop and let her relax. Then I'd take step closer, and the circling would begin again.

I feel like a square dancer when Sunny and I do this. It's the same dance we have when I try to catch her and she doesn't want me to touch her face. But eventually she tires of the game and gives in, and the same was true of the saddle blanket yesterday. She sighed, I reached over and touched her, then she relaxed as I ran it up and down her side, rubbing her all over. When her head dropped and she was completely relaxed, I stepped away and put the blanket back on the rail.

The entire 'workout' lasted about ten minutes from start to finish, and it ended on a good note with Sunny totally relaxed. I removed her halter and walked away, leaving her to mull over how easy it really could be.


Christy said...

Gosh your blog is so motivating for me. I am finally starting to make some progress with Henry and that makes me feel GREAT!!!

Tracey said...

Christy! I've been wondering how you were doing with big ol' Henry. I'm rushed to get out of the house right at the moment, but will stop in later today at your blog to see if you've posted any more about him :)

smilnsigh said...

You got our sun and we got your rain. -giggles-


Clickoncowboy said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date on your progress. I had a hard time with my internet connection in Montana and didn't get much of a change to keep up. Reading about your horses helped me not miss mine so much.

Rising Rainbow said...

I don't do my own shots either. I'm such a woos! Tried it one year and made a couple of yearlings really mad at me and that was it. I can give shots IM in the neck though. But my experience with ace in the muscle is it takes longer to take affect and doesn't last as long.

Her feet do look bad. It always makes me crazy when something like this happens and I'm waiting on the farrier. Hope you got it done without a hitch.