Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Vet, Mud Puddles, and Gelding Potty Talk

This is what spring rains can do to your almost dried up horse pasture!

My Boy's vet appointment went as expected. He is such a big baby. He is so scared of her. Head up, snorting, shaking his head. He finally calmed down and she was able to check out the little bump on his face, which I'd noticed last week. She also scoped his eyes. She said the bump might just be inflamed tissue from an insect bite, it wasn't an abscess, but to make sure it didn't get any bigger. His eyes showed no structural abnormalities. Whew.

Then she had to get out the big bad twitch for the strangles booster. It took her longer to get it on him this time. We don't have a stall corner to back him into so can move around and that works to his advantage. The poor woman raked her knuckles across his teeth at one point then bled all over him. But we got it done.

The vet also told me about a product called Surpass. I ended up buying a tube. Have you heard of it or used it on your horse? It is only available through your veterinarian and costs a pretty penny. Now I will be eating Top Ramen for a month. No worries My Boy, you are worth every one of those high sodium noodles. It is a topical anti-inflammatory. She thought it might work well instead of the bute, for pre-farrier work or for long rides and situations when he might be sore. You just rub it into the hocks. The vet said she uses it on her own back and it works wonders (but you didn't hear that from me.) Supposedly it is safer than bute, because less is absorbed into the horse's system.

After the vet left, I let My Boy eat some grass for a bit so that he could associate something positive with such a horribly terrifying experience. My mom had recently given me her nice memory foam contoured saddle pad as it caused her saddle to be a little too shifty. I wanted to try it out so I saddled up My Boy. The pad was a little smaller than I like, but my saddle seemed to fit with it fine. And it is in the colors I like best on My Boy, boring neutral brown. As you can see, he still has on his pouty boy face from the vet visit and refused to smile for this picture.

Since he was saddled and the rain was holding off, I decided to ride. I had already lounged him out a little before the vet came. We headed back up to the arena. Because of the slippery footing, we just walked and jogged. Here we are by the new lake in the back of the arena. I seriously contemplated casting a line and seeing if we could reel in something for dinner.

Notice that I am wearing gloves, polar fleece, and muck boots. And I am riding in June. I think. Wait. Perhaps I took this picture in November and pulled it out of the wrong folder? Nope. It is really June and it snowed in the mountain passes last night. People, what is going on with the weather these days?

This would have been a nice shot of my horse's head had I not had that distracting halter under the bridle.
My Boy is feeling less pouty about the vet now and is being a poser again.

Now, please do not tell your horses about the next part of this post. Do not let them tell their horsey neighbors, who might tell their horsey cousins, who might tell that bay mare down the road, who might inform My Boy that the whole country is talking about his, uh, bathroom etiquette.

When I was leasing My Boy last year, we would often ride to some reservation land trails that were about two blocks from the trainer's house. In order to do this, we had to cross the road her property was on, ride along the grassy shoulder for about two blocks, turn down a side road, and then ride about half a mile to the trail head.

I'd often lead My Boy, as I did not like riding alongside the road. My Boy's paddock backed up against this same road so he was well-desensitized to car traffic, but it still made me nervous. There are always rude drivers that don't slow down or even give you and your horse a wide berth. Anyway, back to my point. Every time we started down the shoulder, My Boy would stop and urinate in the grass. I would always have to ask everyone else to wait so we didn't fall behind. We would always laugh about it, it was just funny how he was so predictable.
My Boy still does this. On the way to our grooming area by the garage, we cross a section of my sister's lawn. It has a horsey path tromped in it now, as it is also the path the feed cart goes every morning and night. After I catch My Boy and lead him out of the pasture to the grooming area, nine times out of ten, he stops, stretches out, and relieves himself in the grass.
My sister read somewhere that geldings do not like their urine splashing up on their legs, which is why they like to use grassy areas as their personal toilets. This makes sense to me. Has anyone noticed this preference in their gelding's potty spots?
Here is another one, in another grassy area. I promise, this is the last horsey potty picture I will post!
I might need to inform My Boy that although he thinks he's contributing to the fertilization of the green stuff, he is probably actually killing it off!
Black eye update. Oh goodness, it has been like Christmas every morning, running to the mirror to see what color my eye is. Today, the part that is purple and red is still purple and red. But the rest of the under eye is now turning a sickly yellow-green. Hmmm. Is that normal? I have realized that this is quite the conversation starter. The checker at the grocery store tonight had to crack a joke. I am thinking I could use this black eye to my advantage right now.....

And in the near future, I plan to write about the why, how, and where regarding Pony Girl's "Quest for a Cowboy!"


  1. Sis, you had me laughing hysterically about your boy's potty spots! Better than that you took a pix of him actually going potty! And my boyfriend/husband always wonders why you are always taking pictures! If he only knew!!!! I suppose I will have to show him another post.
    The only and I mean only good thing about all the rain we are getting is everything is still soooo green! Wait til August and you have yellow grass in the background. Won't be so pretty then. You will have to get extra creative with your photography.
    You forgot to mention that you got an actual "pony girl ride" today on your boy. Hee...

  2. Yep, your shiner is following the natural course of things there. No worries! ;) (Trust me- the oldest of 6, with several brothers scattered in there, I have given... err SEEN my share of shiners come and go...)

    My Boy going puddle.... Mom how COULD you! LMAO... Sonny feels the need to pee IN his hay. So ... I wait, and reach through the fence with the rake and move the hay... makes him soooo mad. My old Appy gelding would stretch out so far I thought he would tip over. He HATED puddle splashing on his legs!

    Crap- hay man here- gotta run and unload!

  3. I just had the Surpass discussion with my vet - wondering whether I should try it on Hank's arthritic knee, which seems to be bothering him more than usual and sometimes has a little fluid buildup. He suggested I try DMSO gel first, applying it 3 times per week, then Surpass if that didn't help.

    As for the potty spots...you don't know potty spots til you've seen two horses and two burros all using the same one ... at the same time. I think equines might be responsible for the term "pissing contest."

    Your halter under your bridle picture has given me an idea for another photo tutorial -- how to remove the halter without removing the bridle. Look for it soon over at my place.

  4. Great post! I am still ROTFL!! Yes they do have there certain potty spots and times they potty! I have one that every time I go to the barn to feed (2 times a day) he will stop at the same place and pee everytime! Our old gelding would not pee when he was away from home, he would as soon as you turned him out, he would go! Hubby's roan horse is the same way, it just cracks me up! My mare can go anywhere, she doesn't mind! She tries to tell these boys that you shouldn't hold it, but they do not listen! TYPICAL!!
    I have never used or heard of Surpass. But things that we have used in the past for that is Bigeloil-you spray it on there legs before you use them. You can also use it on sprangs, scar tissue, etc. DSMO I really like, but you have to be very careful with it. If you use it you have to clean the area throughly with soap and water and then apply. DMSO carries whatever you put on that area into there skin. So do not use any fly spray, topical things in that area. It is what I have been spraying on the vaccine reaction (scar tissue) on my mare. I spray it on then use my hands to massage it in. (I wear gloves, if not you will taste DMSO, since it will absorb into your skin as well) I have used Asborine litment in the past.
    Good luck!

  5. It is perfectly normal for the odd colors on your little eye. It means it is healing.

    As for geldings, mine usually goes to the middle of the dry lot (there is still grass there) and relieves himselves both ways. My mare however is another matter. She cares not where she relieves herself. I heard somewhere that mares are bad about that. Beings she is the first mare I have every owned (besides one mean assed Shetland when I was a kid) I guess it comes with owning one. She does though seem to hold it until she is at least a bit away from the barn and has never (knock on wood) done 'it' anywhere near the gate area. That would just be nasty.

  6. My gelding always goes potty before I ride him. He likes to go in our indoor arena in the bark/dirt footing. I think he likes that it doesn't splash at all on him there. He also always goes before getting in a trailer. Once again, I'm guessing because of the splash factor. Glad I'm not the only one whose gelding is picky about pottying! (Is that a word?)

  7. My sister's mare will sometimes go in their hay, after they have finished their grain. It's the funniest thing. They run over to the hay piles all excited, then move around a bit, then go!

  8. Another great post. I really enjoy all of the pictures you post...

    This line cracked me up "As you can see, he still has on his pouty boy face from the vet visit and refused to smile for this picture."

    I haven't noticed my gelding's potty habits yet - I'll have to keep an eye on that! :-)

  9. Yes, your pasture does look like my sister's! You must be a fellow Northwesterner with all of this rain? My Boy reminds me alot of my horse Shadest. I had him his whole life (sadly only 16 years), and he HATED the vet...for no particular reason. We had to lip chain or twitch him just for the vet to get near him. The funny thing was, that I worked for this vet for 10 years, so it was definitely not the "medicinal" smell that got Shadest in a foul mood! He also was very private when it came to peeing. He would go behind the barn, and did not like you to watch him. When we went camping, he would never pee while tied overnight on his hi-line either. We had to walk him around like a dog! He had the easiest stall to clean also, because if he could not hold it overnight, he would go in one corner only...both pee and the other!
    Great post. Cannot wait to hear about the cowboy search!

  10. LOL Pony Girl-You come up with the funniest posts.
    Moon can't be fed with other horses. He has a nasty habit of running around and peeing on every hay pile except the one he is eating. What a turd. You can just see the evil glint in that horse's eye.
    So to thwart this habit-I feed him alone and he gets 2 piles. One of the left over hay(for his piddle pile) and his new hay. He learned pretty quick that if he pees on the good pile, he is stuck with the left overs-LOL.
    Rip-the ranch horse come to town-won't pee or poo in the barn-EVER. He always goes outside.
    Woofer-does her business only in one corner of her stall-she is so neat and tidy.

  11. Every morning when I go out to feed at least two of my guys will pee when they hear me opening the barn door! Now that's quite a reception! My old guy will sometimes stop on the trail and pretend he is going to pee so that he can just stop and not have to work! Seriously, he does this! I used to just sit there and wait and wait but now I give him a couple minutes and if nothing happens we continue on.

  12. I've heard the same about the splash factor. Love the pictures, hope no one tells you boy about them. We have one horse(gelding) who will go to the bathroom in his stall the minute his halter is put on in the morning before going out. I guess they all have their routines like we do.

  13. I know exactly what you mean about the potty thing!! Jove always pees about 5-10 minutes after I get off him!!! He is so predictable. :-)

  14. Hey Pony Girl- just wanted to say thanks for stopping in at Why I Carry and commenting ;)

    Keep on keeping safe girl! You are doing a great job there...

  15. What great photos! I love all the expressions of your boy! That's what I love about Appaloosa's, you can always tell what their thinking! Their eyes tell it all.

  16. I have some catch up reading to do!! You make me laugh!! I have a gelding pony that would pee anywhere, but I have a gelding horse that is more particular. He doesn't like it splashing up anywhere. Some horses are neat and tidy and other just don't care. And you have a black eye!!! I will need to do some back reading!!!!!

  17. Thank you for the info on the books. I have already decided I want to spend too much on them.
    I enjoy reading so many blogs it ain’t funny, but I make sure you are a daily read for sure.
    Glad to hear the vet appt went as good as it could. Even gladder Your Boy is doing well, pouty face and all. He is a beauty!
    Geez, that is a lot of water! One good thing about the rains, it makes for such beautiful greenery, of which we never have enough of here where I live.
    That Surpass sounds like something I may need to check out for my Jackie who has a touch of arthritis so it will make our rides more pleasant /less painful for her.

    Potty spot, my little guy had at first peed on the feed that was his…apparently this was a normal thing. He has now gotten his momma’s habits and at least pees and poops way away from where his food is thank goodness.
    I will have to read backwards and see what happened to your eye…LOL

    I CANNOT WAIT til I hear of the adventures of your "Quest for a Cowboy!" Maybe I can hold off getting one of those books you recommended,,, hehehe!

  18. Thanks for your tips on the header! I'm going to play around with mine and see what I can do. My blog is not quite as substantial as yours, but I'm having fun working on it! My goal is to start taking more pictures so I can update more often.

  19. Think My Boy is beautiful but really love Edgar and Walter!! Hope the eye colors fade quickly

  20. Girl! You totally crack me up with some of your posts. This potty talk post, with pictures even, had me giggling. hehehe

    My Baby Doll has an annoying trait of always peeing in the stall. As soon as she comes in for hay, she stops inside to relieve herself.

    Weirdly enough, she typicaly won't poop in the stall, just pee.

    She'd rather pee in the stall than anywhere else on the 2 acres she has to roam. Crazy mare! haha

    I gree about the nutty weather. Blogging has made me realize that something is going on with weather around the country. Some places that are usually warm, are now cool, some that are usually cool are not hot, some that are dry are now wet, and some that wet are now dry...and like our area, we don't usually have any winds after May, bt it hasn't stopped being windy since last October!

    What is up???

  21. Oh and I almost forgot to add something else I noticed....

    My Boy has no problem with crossing water, does he?

    It would seem that he gets lots of exposure to it around there. haha

  22. Enjoyable post! Great photos of a terrific looking horse! Am not familiar with Surpass, but have found DMSO very helpful.

    About those potty places, oh yah. So familiar around here. When Royal leaves the barn onto the trail, there is one spot that we know where he will stop, whether he needs to or not. It is his giant kitty litter box.


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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