Monday, October 20, 2008

Abscess Update

My Boy has been more than gracious about the hoof soaking. He has been tolerant as I wiggle the boot back and forth off and on his hoof, then fill it with salts and hot water. Today he was barely favoring that hoof at all, if anything, his slightly off gait was probably due to the awkwardness of walking with a big rubber boot. I took him out of his "quarantine" and hand- walked him on the lawn to see how he was moving, and to stretch out his legs a little. The paddock he is in is much bigger than a stall, but he certainly doesn't get the exercise that he typically gets in his pasture. I think he gets a bit bored and spends a lot of time digging in his empty grain bucket and banging it around.
Today after work I will do one last hoof soak to be sure, then dry wrap it and since it's unshod, and leave it in the boot for protection until the farrier can get here.

Between the breakaway halter and his current residence, My Boy has nearly been a dream to catch. I say nearly a dream because once or twice he has walked away and gave me a dirty look, but I think he knows he truly has no escape. However, any time I even touch the halter near his crown, he pulls his head up. I just can't figure it out. Since I don't want to use the breakaway halter as a primary lead halter, I have put his regular halter over it. Even getting that on is a struggle, but since he's already "caught" with the breakaway, he can't really escape, and hasn't completely pulled back. I am also now buckling the crown piece over his neck first, then working his nose into it, which seems to be more successful. Next weekend, my goal is to just work on haltering. It saddens me that my horse is pulling this attitude. It truly is disrespectful and lack of leadership. I know that somehow, it is my fault. I am not sure where along the way something shifted, and I wish I knew how to solve it. I mostly fear it will take time, which is not on my side now with winter approaching.

Since My Boy's living in smaller quarters, I have to pick out the manure and muddied uneaten hay every day, or every other day at least.

My Boy is very curious about that Tupperware container, one of the bottles I use to transfer hot water out for soaking.

I finally finish the pooper scooping, and what does he do? Makes another pile! Thanks Boot Boy, I thought I was done!

As I get ready to exit with the wheelbarrow, I laugh as My Boy and Paint Girl's mare Fritzy think I have a wheelbarrow of fresh hay (a wheelbarrow is also their breakfast and dinner delivery system. Any time they hear a wheelbarrow approaching, they start nickering for a meal!) She and My Boy check it out and take a nibble. Eww! Icky mud and poo hay. Don't eat that, silly horses! And, by the way, there is nothing like tossing out wasted hay at $18.25 a bale!! I really do think I have the cutest horse. I mean, despite his catching problem and all, how can I resist such a handsome face as this? I mean, look at those ears!

My sister had the dog behaviorist out to observe and assess Sadie on Sunday. It went very well. It was interesting hearing the synopsis. I could really relate the whole dominance and pack mentality to that of working with horses, especially the accidental reinforcing negative behavior and reading an animal's posturing and body language. I really think they got some great suggestions for working with Sadie and her aggressive tendancies. I know that my sister was also really thankful for great advice given to her from Beth over at the Dog and Pony Show blog. She really inspired my sister to pursue help from an animal behaviorist in the first place. Once again, the wonderful world of blogging has opened doors that we never thought possible!

Don't forget the Photo Caption Contest.....the deadline is Friday!


  1. I'm glad he's feeling better!

    Don't beat yourself up over the catching problem. If it is something you're doing wrong this is just an opportunity to improve your horsemanship. We have all been through things like that and learned from them, and we'll all have challenges in the future too. There's always something new to learn.

  2. Pony Girl - You're really doing fine - you just are too close to see it. My Boy is letting you mess with that rubber boot without fussing, and that's a big accomplishment. He's just testing you with the halter. We've all been through it with one dumb little thing or another. You just have to be firm and stay with your plan and one day, out of the blue,he'll be a good boy and the trouble will be over - except every once in a while, when he checks to see if he can get away with it again! It's in the nature of the horse - they all do it because nobody's perfect, whether you have two or four legs. But wait -$18.25 for a bale of hay???? Since when?

  3. Holy cow! $18.25 for a bale of hay?????

    I got 50 bales this weekend for $2 a bale. And they loaded it at their barn. Good hay too, put up by a dairy goodness.

  4. You are such an awesome horse mama. I know you don't live really close to your sister's place, but yet, there you are going to work each day, and still managing to drive over every day or every other day to care for that adorable spotted boy of yours.
    I hope you are taking good care of yourself, too, and not letting all this worry and work run you down too much. :)

    I've never been drawn to Appys before, but My Boy is one of a kind and his face is just so sweet. It's no wonder you're in love and your his slave. lol!

    Fritzy is one beautiful mare. You know how I like me those black and white critters.

    You'll get that haltering issue beat, don't worry.
    Baby Doll started a 'thing' with her front left foot last month, playing 'concrete-foot-log-leg', where she won't lift up her foot and bend her leg for me.

    I've had her foot checked out and she's fine, but she still likes to play this game sometimes.

    I've taken to keeping cookies in my pocket and rewarding her when she gives me a foot...not every foot and not everytime, but she is now more receptive to giving me her foot knowing that she just might get a treat for it.

    I really want to get a clicker for her because I truly think that I could get my girl to do anything as she is seriously food motivated.

    Almost $19.00 a bale, eh? Gah!
    A place near me, in NM, had some gorgeous Timothy for $12.00 a bale and I thought that was pricey.
    We're playing between $8.00-$10 a bale for 2 strand alfalfa or alfalfa/grass bales right now.

    Are you seeing alot of people trying to get rid of horses in your area? That's alot of money for hay. Is that what you typically pay?


  5. I'm glad he is better. One comment on his ears. Have you checked them for ticks or other critters. The deer ticks are out here right now and I have found ticks in the horses ears.
    Good luck.

  6. I'm with Anon.... Have you checked his ears? What he is doing does not sound like disrespect to me. It sounds more like something is wrong.

  7. He is absolutely adorable and I love that new picture of him in your header!! Don't fret too much about the haltering - they're usually like children, he'll soon get bored with this behavior, forget all about it and you will too. These things always work themselves out...and then, he'll find a new and better way to be a "pill"! The mommy always wins in the end though.

  8. He may just be having an attitude due to his foot? Maybe it was just painful so he didn't want to be ridden. He knows that sometimes whe you come out to catch him, you ride him as well. I think he will get over his tiny fault.It is great that you have to spend so much one on one time with him.

  9. Can you please post the link to Dog and Pony Show blog?

  10. The Dog and Pony Show link is now posted, sorry about that! Not sure if I forgot or it didn't go through, but it's in the post now.

    I have thought about the ear issue, but at times he is fine and I can even touch his ears, so I'm not sure that is the problem. In his history w/previous owners, he has been difficult to catch. So I know it's not just me that he has reacted this way to.

    I paid $15.83 a bale for orchard grass hay last month. Now it has jumped up again. It's price fluctuates like the stock market around here! Alfalfa is $18.50 at the farm store, but a place down the street has it for $15. Local grass hay is probably $7-9 a bale from a barn, it was around $5 a bale last summer if you went and picked it up in the field. $2 a bale? Sounds like a fairy tale to me! ;) Hay is expensive here.

  11. I am glad he is doing well with the abcess, and it is a good reminder to him that you are the boss of him--it is bound to help in the catching thing.

    If it makes you feel any better, I went out to the broodmares today to do shots, and of the 5 I needed in one pasture, I could only catch 3 of them. And one of them has her head up my ass most of the time, but oh no, not today! It is going to be a long week!

  12. Hi PG,
    I'm wondering if My Boy may have pain in the poll area. The way you describe his reaction to buckling the halter it suggests (IMO) that he expects it to hurt.

    Love the new header pic, great shot of My Boy. He has such a cute head. And I love his ears too, that's something I've noticed about our Appy... he's got super cute little foxy ears. :)

  13. He is definitely a handsome fella! I won't admit to any of my friends that I really, really like appy's. My daughter has the most fabulous appy right now, my first "horse" was an appy and my mom had a once-in-a-lifetime appy. But all my friends think they are dumb.

    How does My Boy behave with the bridle over his ears? Does he just toss his head for the halter, or for the bridle, too? My daughter's horse came with us EXTREMELY ear shy and getting the halter and bridle on and off was a battle every single day. I worked with him and worked with him and worked with him and now it's not an issue.

  14. WONDERFUL! I am so glad he is doing better. But he is letting you work with him.

    Goodness! That is high for hay. We sell ours for $4.00 a bale the second it is baled. We have a standing group of people, so we don't have to worry about customers. Then again Terry raises top quality hay so the word is around.


  15. Ya, glad he is doing better! He is a fine looking boy!

    Holy cow, I agree $18.25 a bale! UGH! It is I think around $10 a bale here for costal and then $14 for alfa.

  16. yes, quit beating up on yourself! Has this horse ever been easy to halter?... Perhaps he was whipped on his crown during his younger training - I've seen one trainer take a whip to a horses crown beating him into submission - it was horrible to watch. I know the routine with the abyss, boot, packing it etc. - my horse loved the warm salt soak - I think it was all the attention! Keep working at it

  17. Now I'm feeling bad I recommended the "pink juice" for Sadie. It just goes to show what I know!


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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