Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sale Pending

I had a very nice, 64 year old retired lady look at Wrangler last week.  She trail rides and use to do endurance.  She loved Wrangler and if he passes her vet's Vet Check she wants him.  Of course nothing is ever simple here.  He has an abscess from where I let his feet get too long while on vacation then the farrier was overbooked and a shoe lost.  He is sound with bute but just slightly off without it.  No way he would pass a vet check yet.  I've got a call into the farrier to see about resetting his shoes; it's been 5 weeks.   It is so frustrating to have a horse totally sound for 2 years then get a buyer only to have an abscess.  He has been the only one of my 7 here not to have had one until now.  It's a rough place.
 So Wrangler is in the rockless lot, waiting.  And what better way to pass the time than to do a little more painting.
Unfortunately, the 4-H silent auction was so crowded that I think his artwork was overlooked or not understood.  It only brought $9.  Wish I had been up there at the end to have bought it back myself.   Fingers crossed we can get him sound so he can go to a home where he can be ridden and enjoyed.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Too Toxic

 I have a spot where I throw yard and garden waste over the fence.  It's behind some trees and bushes so not visible from the house or yard.
 This is in the horse field but the goats are in and out all the time as well as cattle on occasion.
The vines are dead now, but you can see the remains of a gourd type vine.  
This is what I was able to harvest from the trash pile.  J's comment was, 'that must be pretty toxic if 3 species of livestock and all the wildlife refused to eat it."  Note that he said nothing about what a pretty arrangement it made.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spica Splint

Let me start by saying goats are not as sure footed as you might imagine.  Not for the first time did J find a goat in the dog pen in the barn when there was no goat there the night before.  
The wall Kit Kat is sitting on is ground level outside but six feet high inside.  
Bottle goat Squeeky Jr. was inside the pen this morning with a dangling leg.  I didn't radiograph it but could palpate a fracture of her right femur.  This kind of fracture is too high to cast and I'm not sure what my boss would say to me bringing in a goat to a small animal clinic for orthopedic surgery.  So I fashioned a type of spica splint from rolled newspaper a coat hanger and duct tape.  It's going to be tricky keeping everything in place and clean but she was already setting her foot down.  Here's hoping she heals quickly.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hokie 1/2 Marathon, Year 2

This year's Hokie 1/2 Marathon was totally different from last year's. (see here).  First off, it was a month earlier, not 45 degrees or pouring down rain.  
 I did have a similar camera malfunction.  As soon as I saw V coming toward the finish line, I turned on my camera only to be greeted with the dreaded words "Change Batteries". (I have to get a new camera)  By the time I got it turned off and back on V was past and almost done.  That's her in the orange shorts and white shirt getting ready to cross the finish line.
 Despite the better weather, she was 10 minutes slower than last year but in much better spirits and condition.  She also had not been training as long or hard as last year.  
 Uncle M also ran and crossed the finish line just 10 minutes after V.  He is only 1/2 way through his training program for a run in South Carolina in November.
 Happy smiling faces after 13.1 miles!
 Then it was rest and refueling before heading back to the house.
We were glad to see Mike, V's boyfriend there to support her too.  And aunts L and A both did the 5 K and crossed the finish line together for a tie.  Way to go runners!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

State Show Day 3, Final Act

Our last day started at 8:45 in Waldron Arena with Western Pleasure 2nd go.  True to form, Pep trotted in, got 1/2 way around then stopped to poop. 
 Once again, the competition was great.  Usually there is something crazy going on but not this time, everyone was very solid.
 Pep was doing her reining horse impression at the lope.  She looked beautiful, just way too fast.  Had she been able to do sliding stops, faster spins and flying lead changes she would have cleaned up in the reining classes.  As it was, she moved up to 5th in pleasure.  But there were a lot of other switches.  3rd yesterday went to 9th and 10th yesterday moved to 3rd.  Pep managed to beat last years champion that was also high point POA for the east coast.   Since the finals were all about the points, we had to wait until they were posted.  And yes, she made it to the Classic.
 Then it was over to the finals in trail class.
 Pep certainly had her game face on.
She really did a great job especially considering  how poorly most of the ones that went before her did.  We even overheard the judge comment that he had a $60,000 horse that would have trouble with this pattern.  That elicited quite a bit of discussion among us as to either his training ability or true value of the horse if it couldn't do a 4-H trail class.  With Pep unfortunately, that one step out of the box cost her 2 placings.  She ended up 4th out of 45 but was oh so close to 2nd.  Still, this was her highest placing in trail ever.  
 Aunt L had come back to watch day 2 of showing.  Pretty sure they were just reliving the trail class.
 In Horsemanship, E had an exceptional pattern.  I was hopeful for at least 3rd to make the classic but she ended up 4th again.  Still, we couldn't have asked any better from Pep.
The Western Pleasure Classic started about 8 pm.  You would have thought that after 12 hours of showing that Pep would have been just a little tired.  Maybe she thought if she just went faster she would be done sooner.  Whatever the reason, she was in a race, except when she stopped to poop.  6th place
I know E was glad of her decision to not take Brother but Pep her last year.  Pep stayed sound and gave it her all.  It is so sad for me though, this last show.  When I was E's age and had my last show in 4-H I was sad too, but it didn't seem that final.  When you're young there is so much ahead, so much to look forward to.  But now that I'm older, it just makes me sad thinking this was it, the last one.

One last quote from E I forgot yesterday in describing how she feels taking Pep through the Working Western Pattern, "Everyone else seem so calm but with Pep, it's a chaotic whirlwind of nonsense."

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

State Show 2015, Day 2

E's first day of showing started early with getting ready for showmanship.  Pep's scraggly mane took awhile to get under control, but E managed a fine job. 
 Then it was off to Waldron Arena to perform the pattern she had practiced so will just the previous evening.
 I think the theme for today is, "fixed old problems but develop new ones."
 Pep has always been a good trotter but has issues with standing still in this arena and backing.  So true to our new theme, she broke twice trotting but did everything else fine.  E got an ok score but not high enough for top 10.
Grandma and Aunt L came to see the show too.  There was a little down time where J and Grandma read the paper.
 E and I walked around and watched some dressage.
 Then it was time for Western Pleasure Pony, Sr Rider 1st go.
 Pep looked better than she had in a long time.  Unfortunately for western pleasure Pep looking good means she is going too fast.
 There were 10 in the class and this was by far the best competition E has every had in this division.   She ended up 6th.  Only the top 5 average over 2 classes make it to the finals, so E was a little depressed about that.  She'd have to do better tomorrow.
 Pep did sail through the trail preliminary.  E said she thought Pep probably could have done it by herself.  Se just had a click of her back hoof on the standard as she backed to latch the gate.
 And no problem on the back through.  I knew the judge and she assured me E would have no problem making the finals.
 Grandma got close enough to congratulate E (but not Pep)

Then  came Working Western.  E had a high number so the class was about 1/2 over when I went to check her in.  SHE WASN'T ON THE LIST!!  I was told to go to the show office to check with them.  They didn't have her either even though she was in the printed program, albeit with Brother instead of Pep since she had made that change Sept 1.  They finally got her added but that put her at the end of the class so more time for Pep to stand around.

 The hard part here was the counter canter (left lead going to the right) at the end which Pep nailed.  The easy part was loping a fast the slow circle to the right which Pep failed.
 Once again a great lineup and no top 10.
 Last thing for the day was $5 to practice for 10 minutes on 7 obstacles (but only 6 stations because one was used as backing through and trotting over) with 5 horses at a time.  The others in E's group were all large hunters that kept destroying all of the poles.  But E got though everything pretty good and was ready for the trail finals the next day.
 We had 2 new girls showing with our county this year.  Anna showed in 2 hunter pleasure pony classes.  She was 5/10 in the first one and 10/10 (wrong lead) in the second one.
Amelia showed Hunter Pleasure Small Horse.  She was reserve (11th) out of 19 in her first class, didn't place in her second, was 9/20 in equitation and in the trail prelim, made it through the gate but couldn't get her horse to back through the poles.  They both found out what it takes to show here and I think are looking forward to next year.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

State 4-H Horse Show 2015 Day 1, Arrival

Since E is at college it was up to me and J to get Pep and all her things to the show.  E was driving up Thursday after class.  
 Since it is not my project, we delivered a dirty horse with a scraggly mane to E.  She didn't seem to mind the dirt and was happy we were there.
 With the help of the other club members and familys (the ones that showed up anyway but that's another story) the stall decorations were put up in no time.
 E saddled up and took Pep out for a test ride.
 Sound as a dollar, or maybe more so.  I'm not sure that saying is what it use to be.
 Then it was to the wash rack.  In 9 years we have never convinced Pep to step into the close by indoor wash room.  We always have to go the the end of the show grounds to the outdoor spigot.
 Since E's first class was showmanship at 8:00 the next morning she took Pep into Waldron Arena for a little practice.  Pep performed the pattern perfectly in practice.
 Then it was on with the pajamas and ready for bed.
 I did stop by the silent auction tables, they were loaded.
I'm afraid Wrangler's painting will be overlooked in all this chaos.
Stay tuned for day 2.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Good Fences #77

It has been a few weeks since I have to joined up with Good Fences but I got an early start this morning. 
 Hard to beat a beautiful sunrise.
 This morning's chore was to round up all of the goats and get them contained in one field.  With E going to the State 4-H Horse Show, we need to make the farm chores a little easier for our help.  And with the goats in one place instead of all over the farm, maybe they will be less likely to get into any mischief (like eating the neighbor's crape myrtles)
Maybe this field will be able to contain them for the next 3 days.
For more Good Fences click HERE.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Final Practice

Well, it turned out that I didn't have to write a letter or pay a $50 substitution fee to switch Pep for Brother at the State Show.  Apparently, there was a September 1st deadline to do changes without a fee and luckily E went by the State office between classes on the first and got that done.  
 The only problem was that I had been riding Pep some (3 times) since E was off at college and on Monday I tried to clip her ears out which she hates.  Every she would toss her head and move I would make her work lunging her back and forth then having her stand still again.  In theory that is suppose to make them want to stand still but theory didn't work on Pep.  She would stand still but continue to toss her head or flick her ear just enough to keep me from clipping and I only got her ears halfway chopped at.  
 Well, Tuesday I went to ride her and guess what, she was lame.  I guess I had worked her to hard in the flat sand covered barn.  So E switched horses just in time for Pep's lameness.  I started her on bute (anti inflammatory medicine) right away and put her in the 'fat' lot with Otoelene.  She was sound again in a day but now I'm afraid to stop the bute.  I have been tapering it down so if she needs more later I can go back up on the dose.  
E came down for a day this weekend to clean her tack and take one more ride on Pep.  Keep your fingers crossed that she stays sound for one more week.
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