About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Walk Laz...WALK!!!!!!!!!!!!"

So today I was looking forward to seeing my sweet angel boy!  
Work has been stressful and it's nice to sometimes just loose yourself in your horse.  As I approached Laz to halter him up, he walked off really poorly.  His leg and hoof seemed strange. A little like...disconnected? He was limping a bit and definitely showing signs of favoring it and not wanting to move as he typically has been.  It's been pretty dry here and his paddock area has gotten a bit more firm so perhaps that is why.  Even the BO said, "Let's take him on the grass where it's cushy" so we could have him stretch out and walk/loosen up in more comfort. I thought that seemed like a good idea being the grass has moisture in it too.  He did walk better and with each step it looked better so we continued after thinking that maybe I wouldn't push it.
So we walked around the property next to the round pen, near the house, along side of the arena and towards to front where the dirt road is-all on the grass.  
Everything was fine until we got to the front by the dirt road, where Laz hasn't been in about 8 mths, and my sweet little TB, turned into a monster OTTB who was flighty, sooooooooo tightly wound up that he was jigging, farting, head and eyes were up and blazing and he did several jump back, side flinging moves.  There was a tractor across the road but oddly enough he didn't seemed worried about that..he was worried about something we couldn't see next door and was acting like a stud, untrained idiot that could be dangerous.  
THANK god my BO "C" was with us and she talked me through the entire hour we spent with him out there.
It was nothing short of scary and a few times I felt like 'this is going to end with someone getting hurt'.  Lazarus a few times looked like he was going to rear on top of me, or side jump and trample (ugh) but thankfully we worked through it and I remained controlling him through his temper tantrums of wanting to spook and BOLT.  We kept walking, leading and talking to him, talking to each other, and reminding him to "WALK" when he acted up in my bear voice which in the end he responded to and would lick when given the command.  I don't know if his little OTTB brain gets overloaded and then he just looses it, but when he gets like that, it's so hard to be the brave leader I need to be for him. BUT...I did it.  Now, that isn't to say that I was brave. I wasn't!  I even told "C" that "I think we should stop" because I few times, I felt so out of control but she reminded me that I can't reward his bad behavior and I have to work through it and not quit.  So we did.  We kept walking him around the front lawn, in between the pines trees, around the arena, around the garden with me leading him and being a bit more in front of him to 'guide' him.  She is teaching me to be his leader.  Often it's so easy to hand the horse you are struggling with to someone else but sometimes it's best to have the guidelines/help next to you and do the work yourself.  Not easy that is for sure.  I think "C" has the ability to know when I'm scared and talk me through it as well as Lazarus, lol and adjust the lesson to fit that, so that he and I can work together and communicate.  

Around we went, and when he acted up (and I mean UP like a 20 foot tall, veins pumping, coiled TB energy and body shaking with "RUN") I just would say in my bear voice "WALK LAZ!" and check him in his roped halter/lead and then to keep on walking and leading him.  When  he responded well and walked relaxed we would stop and reward him with allowing him to graze in the 'scary' spots.  It worked well.  It was scary and I was scared but I did it and now feel a little better of having another side of him come out, and handling it.  
Needless to say, no pictures...are you kidding me, I had a dragon that I was leading around! :)

So, now I think we are going to be working in the lawn area a bit more so Laz can extend his brain to 'trail riding' and not go nuts.  He walked great during his antics and didn't do anything to hurt himself.  
I took him back in his pasture where we worked on ground tying while I groomed him.  A couple minor reminders and setting him back in place but other than that he did great.  After his grooming, I put him in the round pen for a brief 15 minute grazing and he did move off a bit stiff for his few steps after standing still for grooming.  Something I'm keeping my eye for now....any changes.
Cliff comes out next Friday and I'm always so anxious to have his eyes on Lazarus's feet.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rocker Haircut

Haircut time!!!!
Long overdue and partially because of two reasons. 
A. I don't yet own clippers (soon I will)
B.  If I did, I would butcher the crap out of Laz, so I let BO "C" work her salon magic on him

We realized quickly with the clippers struggling a bit...Laz is so dirty. Like beyond dirty.  I had planned on bathing him in early October when we still had decent weather, and if you have been reading this blog, you know that is when he got colic or some flu, and that lead to his current battle of laminitis. Soooooo...bath was not appropriate at the time.  
I am hoping sometime this week to wash this grimy boy and get all that dander, dirt, dust, etc OFF and get him gleaming!!!

Here he is...no that isn't a Tennessee Walker you see below...it's my dirty OTTB
70's mustache gone!
Holy thick mane...I am envious!
Here's his new 'do.  
What do you think? 
It's a friendly cross of a THICK TB cut, and somewhat Western Pleasure.
LOL...Laz is eclectic like his Mom, what can I say? 
We like to keep people guessing.  ;)
Damn that cow lick...
So here is his new punk rocker braid that I left long, for the Mati to still work it's magic of keeping him healthy
 Rock it Laz, funk it up
 Whoa...whiskers a plenty
Mmmmm, so much more smoochable and velveteen!
  **Disclaimer- it's not that I'm opposed to mane pulling, or the opposite of letting manes/whiskers grow.  I like to cut his mane for the summer, and let it grow long for winter for added warmth.  For the whiskers around the eyes, we kept them for his protection, but for his muzzle we cleaned it up.  It's what I prefer to do for my stay at home horse. ;)

Laz yesterday evening, walking around beautifully.  
The BO and I had a GREAT lesson of more desensitizing which I will soon post videos of.
Compared to Laz when I first rescued/adopted him, back in September of 2008....not too shabby even after this colic/laminitis since this October.  A few things are for sure with comparing his recent photo above to this below photo.   His body looks better, more filled out.  His tail is MUCH thicker/longer.  He is just walking in different feet but hopefully, they will be stronger than ever before in the future.  :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

6 weeks barefoot and counting...

This past week of time spent working with Laz.
Mason the wonderchocolatepup is so patient during our hour long drive to get to his favorite place, "the Farm" which he now knows our little schedule like his feeding time. Crazy. :)
The sweet life in Laz's eye

I tried to capture how his bay coloring isn't just brown. It glistens with copper, gold, red, dune, gray and black hairs.  He is getting quite used to me kissing that sweet muzzle and is learning to tolerate and even expect it
This is his bad foot and please excuse the mess..it was before I cleaned it, which I should have photographed it after, but I didn't, sorry.  This shows the bars (I think) and how uneven they are due to the laminitis, and possible the wedge shoes?  Laz is doing really well barefoot and I have to keep remembering, it's only been 6 weeks!  It feels like a lot longer.  I haven't had xrays since Feb 18th, and he is completely off his meds and I feel walking better than he ever has.  
We decided to wait on more Xrays...there is some discussion that xrays could cause a delay  in the healing of laminitis. I guess, if you compare that with going to the dentist/doctor and they drape you in a heavy protective apron during an xray..it must do something to our insides right?
One thing for sure with laminitis...is there isn't anything for sure.

This was his mood for the day. Sweet puppy face sleepy boy.  You know, the PERFECT day to ride and just kind of kerplunk around.  For me, being into just pleasure riding (I'm so impressed with so many of you and your riding skills with you and your horses...wow) and to just enjoy the bonding while riding, these were the days I would LONG for with my OTTB.  
Sigh..soon enough but even to just have him to enjoy is definitely enough.
So, instead of riding which we still can't do yet, we do our Cliff approved walks in the sandy arena for about a half hour.  Laz is doing better and better in the 'spooky' corners and I am too with being a brave leader. I have to admit though, on the sleepy puppy days, I'm a great leader. On the windy, fire dragon days, I rely on the help of the BO "C" to help me through it.
Here is BO "C" working with us with the Clinton Anderson lead and desensitizing Laz with the 'whip' by hitting it on the ground until he relaxes and isn't tense.  When I first got Laz he was petrified by whips and cracking sounds.
Handsome boy.
Yes, still ribby, muscle tone has gone to blah since his bout with colic in October, but overall, not too shabby.
And look how he is standing on both hind legs!
Here we are working with having him stand still by mounting block and remember what it's like to have a rider and legs/arms dangling around.  Obviously he could care less and was pony perfect.

You can see how sleepy he is and we do our desensitizing work within a 15 minute capacity to not exhaust him mentally
Reward is Cliff approved grazing for 10-15 minutes.  I still get SO nervous about allowing him to graze but so far he's been doing well with it.
And to the far left, that is the BO's puppy Carley, who is getting SO big! 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy 9th Birthday Lazarus!

Today was a really special day...one that a couple of months ago, I thought I wouldn't see....Lazarus's   9th birthday was today!! April 25, a month to the day from my own birthday!
We were out of town visiting family but made it back in time to spend some QT with Laz even though it was raining.  It wasn't a day I could miss and my husband came with too understanding how I felt.

My sweet courageous Lazarus.....love you

When we first arrived, he was in his stall by his choice to be out of the rain I gather.  I love that he access to chose to be inside or out as he pleases, 24/7.
The birthday boy rub his head into me and loves to have his eyes, forehead, cheeks and ears rubbed.  Yes, he is spoiled and I love it
For his bdat, sweet Laz got a jolly ball in lime green, apple scented!
He seemed to love how it smelled

Love his face in this photo...what a beautiful TB head
and then this camel lip shot to show his goofy face

So, because it was raining I thought "Should I wait to open until it's a nice day?" Then I was like, am I crazy?! Seize the day and OPEN now!!!!!!!!!
I hope he likes it!
"Mom...what else is in this box?"
The bday boy was GREAT when I asked for his feet for a pick cleaning.  He is 100% off all anti-inflammatory medicine now, and doing really well and still walking around looking better every day.  
Laz's Dad fed him a couple of carrots until the small blunt pieces which he had me feed because he confessed "I'm scared." lol! 
Happy 9th Birthday my sweet Lazarus....many, many, many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

While I was away...

So, this past week I was away in Chicago for work.  It was the Kitchen and Bath industry show and it's always an amazing event to attend.  As a designer, I get to see 'first look' on all new things for the kitchen/bath world.  It was a great show but I did miss my brown man.  Luckily, I never worry about him while I'm gone.  A huge perk of being at a small private facility and being friends with the BO's who take amazing care of the horses.
While I was gone, the BO kindly sent some fun pictures so I could sleep easy.

She took Laz out in the arena for a hand walking and some turnout time.  He has been permitted to nibble on the grassy arena areas for about 15-20 minutes which he loves.
Short necked Laz
Dirty boy taking a siesta in the sun

During my stay in Chicago, we stayed with my family in the home I grew up in. 
It's always nice going home, and they are getting it ready to finally sell after 37 years of owning it.  With that, I took home a few boxes of my Breyer horses, Barbie horses and other horse toys, etc that I had collected.  I also seem to have horse books in the hundreds from over the years.  Many of you know of this website "Horse and Wildlife Gifts" and they carry gifts and decor items.  I'm thinking of purchasing this lovely bookend for my office to display the many years of collected books that I now am transferring to my home.  The pages are all a bit tattered and well read over, and some of the books seem ancient, lol, but will look so nice displayed properly.
I'll be seeing my Laz man tomorrow and can't wait!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Room with a Lake view

Not only was it a beautiful day out, it was a great day with Laz too.
My husband and I headed out to the farm today after some coffee and relaxing for a bit with our two dogs with us.
When we got there, it started getting windier but was still nice out.  Cool but sunny.  
Laz was laying in his new sandy spot that he dug out at the far end of his paddock.
It's got a beautiful view of the next door neighbor's lake/pond and I was laughing that it's his room with a water view!

The sun felt so warm

This is one, loose lipped content little OTTB

Lazarus is pretty great about letting me walk up to him, talk to him and rub on him while he naps.  I try not to disturb him too much but today he was open to it. He was groaning with contentment and kept nuzzling his nose in the ground and sighing.  He was just enjoying nap time...it's not because his feet hurt (or anymore than his normal)
Still a little ribby but he gets free access to hay, and gets his Trip Crown L/S feed, it may just be him bouncing back slowly.  Just had him tested for worms being he hasn't had any wormer since he got sick, and it came back -he's worm free.  He is in good physical shape considering..I just wish he looked a bit rounder, but that is more for me than him

I mean, look at that face and perfect little crescent moon star on his forehead! I love how my hair and his mane are kinda one big windblown mess blurred together

Tip: don't kiss your dirty sand loving horse with chapstick on.

I was teasing here and pushed his airplane ears forward for a good head shot.

So after posing and playing with him, I just started rubbing him. 
 I used my thumbs along his spine and he let out a big fart, lol
I rubbed deeply and then gently, and pulled out on his bad foot's leg.  I just know that avoiding walking on one leg since October has to also do a number on his muscles and alignment.  I'm not a professional anything, but I know I'm a sucker for a massage and will basically take it from anyone.  Laz apparently is too.
He really, really, really, was enjoying this buttock massage
Rubbing, rubbing...
He was falling asleep during my massage
The BO said "see if you can get him to lay on his side and really relax" so I asked...
And he gave
Rubbing, stretching and working on stretching him before our arena walking lesson

I laughed out to Billy and said "Who shot my horse?!" 

Happy boy

He even allowed Billy to come over and rub his eyes (his favorite) and his forehead

Billy kept the dogs busy playing so I could chill with Laz and of course took pictures too.  Pudgie, our Frenchie still isn't great about understanding the fences are electric, so we turned them off while we were out there with the BO's permission

So the BO "C" again helped me LOADS today.  We worked on Laz and I walking in the arena.  Sounds so simple, but add wind, an OTTB, a green owner and it's not.  I'm not ashamed to ask for help when I feel we need it.  So we had "C" in there with her suggestions, her teaching and training.  All for me being a better leader/owner and for him to be a better mannered horse who thinks instead of panicking when scared.  
So I need to work on me being a brave leader for Lazarus.  Giving him the correct leading signals while I'm leading him.  Teaching him to respect my space (which is so hard for me when he spooked a couple times and rushes up behind me and I think-Hooves on head trample!!) by stepping in front of him with my back at him to block him from coming forward and reminding him that I'm leading you and you are safe with me. LOL! It's a very tough thing for me but I can see that Laz NEEDS a leader and I have to be that for him.  We worked for about a 1/2 hour with my Clinton Anderson halter/lead combo which I love btw because of how you can feel him thru that halter and lead, and use the lead in a number of ways for training. 
  Then she had me release him and 'free' lead him which he did good.  A couple times the surrounding grass tempted him but I grabbed him back and rewarded him when he listened and followed me with a carrot.  I'll have to get pictures of it. It's very cool and at times (like in the scary corners) I feel my heart rate go up.  In fact, I let out a forced sigh and it spooked Laz, lol.  So I did it again and again so he got over it.  He did very well today and was pretty tired when we were done. OH! And he walked EXCELLENT, hardly limpy and is looking really good.  

We put him back in his paddock, he drank a few big gulps of water (good for the detoxing of his massage) and was a happy boy.  I picked his feet (he picked them up...good boy!) and he is still barefoot 100% and doing well without his easyboots and still easing off his Equioxx meds.

See you tomorrow Bubba