Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A (bio) hazard to herself and others

I'm a bad blogger.  I have no new pictures or video to share, but I thought it was time for an update anyway.  There was video a couple of weeks ago, but getting the camera out seems to be the kiss of death for Essa's behaviour.  It was her introduction to the surcingle.  She got away from me and went careening around the ring, lunge line streaming behind her.  Really not YouTube material.  It's a miracle she didn't step on it and hurt herself.  All digitally immortalized.  I could have just deleted it but I tell myself I'll treasure these moments in our journey together.  We've been lunging inside since then...

She's doing better with the surcingle, although she gets a bit girthy and fussy about it.  I've also brought side reins to the party.  She goes about the same in either direction, and I'm working on solidly installing walk/trot/whoa commands.   She does pick things up quite quickly.

So about that bio-hazard...I'm being all responsible about worming and sent off samples for the three of them.  My vet makes it easy by picking up the samples when she's in the area, and charging only $15 each (which is what I'd spend on wormer anyway).  Cody and Honey are low - yay!  But Essa is "loaded" with strongyles.

She'd had some treatment back in March, but she was so underweight I was reluctant to risk overdoing it.  She will get the full 5-day Powerpac this time, and hopefully be on track after that.  She's still in her own paddock but Honey REALLY wants to be her friend now and pushed through the gate the other night.  Thankfully injuries were limited to Honey's boo-boo's and the new gate (replacing the one that Honey kicked out when she wanted to kill Essa) is still intact.  But I think we'll try putting all three together when Essa's treatment is done.  That will be another experiment...

Speaking of experiments - the alfalfa!  It's still going for Cody and Essa, although Cody's had to go on full-scale ulcer treatment.  Just a coincidence, I think.

I trimmed her unicorn mane to a more Thoroughbred-like length, but now it reminds me of Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber.

So it's always something.  Despite the lunge-line hilarity I've been really pleased with how Essa is doing.  I'm taking things very slowly and hoping that my patience will be rewarded.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Going Slow is Not for Sissies

My progress is slow to the point of being taken advantage of by the horse, but I really like the spirit of this article.

Going Slow is Not for Sissies | Eventing Nation - Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary

Just an update

My, it has been a while!  Nothing really new in the routine - it's been too hot and humid for much activity.

The"alfalfa experiment"  has had mixed success.  Essa and Cody are happily eating up 1/2 pound of soaked alfalfa cubes at supper, and Cody is eating more hay.  Unfortunately his cribbing has gotten worse, so I've started a course of ranitidine for ulcers.  I have to dose him two or three times a day, and Essa is most interested in the extra snacks Cody is getting.  I'd like to treat her too eventually but 40 pills a day for 4 weeks adds up, even for the "economical" ranitidine.

I tried a "labyrinth" pole exercise, which Essa handled like a pro.

Essa was treated to her first massage on Sunday.  I wasn't sure how she'd handle it, being so sensitive to grooming, but my friend the massage therapist was quite pleased with her.  She said Essa has a lot of tension all over, just accumulated from racing and stress.  Essa clearly didn't know what was going on, but she had moments of relaxation and will likely "get into it" more readily next time.

We discovered that Essa likes huffing lavender.  Kara rubbed a few drops of lavender oil between her palms and let Essa sniff it to help her relax.  Essa started by trying to eat the bottle - she REALLY likes this stuff!