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...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just a blip

So, I think I feel pretty good at analyzing that Laz was indeed reacting to his grazing time.
Sucks...I thought he was doing so well but it proved too much for him.
His hoof has been feeling less hot each day, than on Wednesday when I first noticed.
So hopefully...this is just a blip and we can start up again.  Cliff comes out this week for a trim, so I'll have more input on if I should stay off him, or start walking him via riding.
I think along with grazing, perhaps his feet were too wet with all the RAIN RAIN RAIN and in turn made for a more sensitive hoof?

He and Ponee dining together.
I cold hosed or soaked his hot foot each visit.
Fixed him beet pulp with his holistic meds
On Friday, Sunday and Monday I hand walked him because he was moving so normally.
The arena was being set up with the obstacle course from last year so I wanted to see how Laz would do, being he hadn't seen these items in months.
Puh...NO big deal.
In fact, he LOVES to lick the tops of these barrels! 
"Oh meee amorrrre, I've missed you!"

The sand was cool and he rolled, and rolled and rolled. Each day-about 4 times.
Good sign.  He was licking his lips and content.
He was camel lipping on Caitlyn's back, the BO's dog..he tries to on Mason but Mason RUNS!
"Must roll...must roll"
Mid dog shake after roll

"Wha??? Who's here? I smellz visitorz?!"
My husband's Mom and Grandma stopped by the farm to see Laz on their way to our house 
Laz was a gentle boy and allowed nose rubs and star rubs while standing as still as a statue.
"Yes, yes commonerz ...touch me...I is King"

Memorial Monday, the sweet boy got a bath to cool him off a bit.
He enjoys it and tried to dive into the grass during his bath. 
Sheesh.
I hand walked him to dry off and he's moving great.
Cool feet despite the HOT day. :)

Seems getting him off the grass may have proved to be right after all.
Hopefully I can ease him back into it, as things dry up a bit.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Update

Thankfully, nothing too dramatic to report.
Sorry, for my time in between posts, and thanks to you sweet readers who reached out via email and FB to ask.
Laz really feels the love!!!

Lazarus is still in his paddock, able to move around the same as before with Mini and Sawyer.  I can't see any difference in his moving, he's eating/drinking normal and other than still a little heat and I think a little elevated pulse in his hind, he is the same.
It's a guessing game as to why.
It is the weather, the rain creating for soft feet that makes his hind hurt a bit being his rear hooves have physiological differences? 
Is it stress from he and Sawyer not communicating 100% well?
Is it from rich grass?
It's so hard to tell, but I'm doing what I can to keep my horse happy. 
It sometimes feels like a slippery slope.
He is very sensitive and proves to be high maintenance but, I love him and we'll figure it out.

So, I've been out there the last 3 days in a row.
Soaking his feet.
Making a beet pulp, mixing in his Holistic anti-inflammatory meds, treating his bite marks.
No riding, no hand walking because no need to push him. 
Especially being the weather has been so wet, his little feetsies are so soft. I've been treating them with rain maker hoof dressing, and waiting for my Absorbine All Natural hoof dressing (thanks Sid for recommendation) to come.
I can't go on Saturday, but Sun/Mon is a go to make sure he continues to remain the same (or better hopefully!)
I've talked to Cliff, who has assured me he'll be just fine BUT if I need him he'll be out there in a flash (soooo nice to have that with a trimmer) and have emailed with Dr. Bowker from MSU who has basically given me the same advice as Cliff.  Not to mention, all the advice I get from my LOVELY and amazingly caring readers!!! (Frizzle...u rock my dear!)
The plan is to keep him off grass until it dries up and muzzle if needed when I reintroduce him again.

I'm thankful that Laz is able to remain comfortable and be a horse, out and moving, without having me drug him up, wrap him up, lock him up.
So, thank goodness for that! :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grass on, Grass off

Rain...sun...rain...sun...rain. 
Of course, with my schedule, we got stuck with rain
As we pulled up.
Mason: "Whatss the prublm...OPEN this Dar an leemmmee OUT!"
 Due to the rain, all the horses were in their stalls.
Everyone was quiet and content. 
I walked into Laz's and nuzzled him.
I decided to pick out his stall, since I figured, why not.
And I don't know what made me do it, (habit?) but I touched his feet.  
I'm always touching his feet.
Fronts-cool to the touch.  Nice
Hind left-cool to the touch.  Awesome
Hind right-HOT.
SHIT.
Panic.
I touched all four again.
Ok, yup it's hot.
Do I feel an elevated digital pulse? I think so...do I? I think so...
So, I call the BO and just tell her what I'm seeing/feeling
I stuck his hoof in a bucket of cold water in the meantime
 She suggest taking his temp
Smart..yes. Temp #1 was below
 Temp #2 was 99.9
So both within the normal range
Ok, that is good.
So why the hot hoof?
Laz has been introduced slowly with the other horses to the grass but I'm thinking, it's just too rich for him.  With all the rain, it's rapidly growing and too much sugar/protein..not good..for him.
Yes, every horse is different.  He was doing great so far..but as of today...not so much.
So, I decide-dry lot is in his immediate future.
No more grazing at least for a few more weeks.
Sorry buddy...but I love you.
I can't risk it.
I talked to my farrier, Cliff and he agreed...he responded within literally 2 minutes via text (how awesome) and just said "Don't risk it...take him off."
It could be heat from him reacting...it could be heat from a possible abscess..but just going with gut and my gut says "no more grazing for a while"

So, gloriously the rain stopped after about an hour, so I took him out to see him move out.  
He trotted like his normal gimp trot, nothing worse...but definitely not as great as I've seen lately.
Walk looked fine
All he wanted to do was trot the surrounding crack cocaine grass bunches that called to him, by the arena fence.
"I smells GRAZZZSSSGIMMEEEE!!!!"
So, we just hand walked together.
I wanted to get him moving to help circulation and he was happy to move which was great.
After walking for a good 20 minutes, I brought him back inside and fed him his beet pulp/flax seed and added  some of his holistic anti-inflammatory meds.
 Ignore his braids..it's what nervous hands do

Mason was deprived..it had been 3 whole days since our last barn visit.
"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Eeeeeeeeeeaahahh"
"Oh, are you lesening yets..COME outSIDE!!!"
When I left 3 hours later, I opened Laz's stall door so he could keep moving and roam out to the cool sand
Fingers crossed this GOES away...and nothing develops further
I know some of you may be thinking I am over reacting. To that, I don't care. Sorry...I don't.
To those that think I should call my vet.  Not yet.  I just don't always see eye to eye with him on treatments (unfortunately..it's a crappy feeling) so I'm sticking with my gut, and talking it over with Cliff and my BO, for now.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Hopefully, cool feet.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ground work, arena ride, road ride!



So Laz and I have been re-working on his ground manners a little more.  He's awesome, like 90% but he does have this mental block on that I don't want his face/neck/shoulder area SO close to me.  When we went on the hand walk down the road last week, and he got panicky, it was the first thing he did, jump in toward me. 
No no no.  
So, I reached out to my Parelli trainer (I've only had her out once but plan on a 2nd session this summer) and she suggested going back to on line, to the 'sideways game'
So we did.  
It was like Laz had never been asked to do this.  He got SO pissy and animated and dramatic.  She was spot on right. This was his issue, and I had not taught him what I had been looking for/requesting.  
He yields his hindquarters perfectly, I just have to look at them and he moves around quickly and politely.  When I ask his shoulder/neck to move as I walk into him, he just stands there like a wall.  So, we have been re-working on that...see below for what I'm talking about:
Game #6
The Sideways Game
This is teaching the horse to go sideways equally as well to the right and left, with ease. The two important areas on the horse for this are the neck-to-nose area, and the hindquarters. We'll call them zone 1 (the nose) and zone 4 (the hindquarters). You need to play the Driving Game in repetitions of zone 1 then zone 4. Send zone 1, then zone 4, then 1, then 4, etc. until the horse straightens out and moves laterally sideways. Allow a loose rope and a little distance for the horse to get moving but not so much distance that he could turn away and kick you.
Sideways is important for developing suspension, lead changes, spins and to balance out "forwardaholics". Start slow and right; use a fence or rail to help prevent forward movement while the horse is learning.
Keys to Sideways Game: loose rope, Driving Game in zone 1 and zone 4, four phases.


Anyway, it went OK.  We need a ton of work in that department and we'll practice a few days a week to nail it down so he does understand.  I started by standing at the fence and asking him to side step over away from me.  He would slightly, and then it would turn WAY dramatic, he would grunt and then FLY over and then, turn bolt away from me.  He didn't get anywhere, I had him on the line and all is was able to do was run half a circle to the other side of me, and the fence stopped him. 
  LOL, as if he'd never seen my stick and rope. 
"WHAT IS THIS...HELP my Mom wants to beat me!!!?!?!" 

It was comical.  We worked on it, until he could do what I wanted calmly and with his head at a normal non-giraffe elevated position.  He tries, bless his heart! 

When Laz doesn't understand, his personality is to RUN from it.  Literally.  So, as long as I get tiny little shows of attempts to process it, we'll get to the end result where he'll be awesome at it and avoid/respect my space even more.
Now, this being said, he's NEVER run into me, but he's come close...too close for MY comfort...so we are addressing it now being he's showing me, it's spot that hasn't quite registered for him yet.
Again, it's nice to have these tools to go back to, when I know something is off or I want to improve it.
I'm sure every trainer has some form of this method....this is the one we chose to practice. 

After his explosions, I decided to end our Parelli games, when he gave me small attempts of "is this it??"
I never want him to think the games are annoying or too much for his brain to handle.  We always search for the good spot to end it on, until the next session.  So, I put on his bitless and decided we would ride for a bit. It was sunny, 80, and there was a great breeze which kept the heat and bugs off.
The wind picked up a bit, and he got a little worried but he didn't react physically and we had a great ride in the arena.  I decided, to again, present another task for him to see if he would be willing to tackle it.

I rode him out of the arena and down the dirt road.
Heading down it, he was coiled and a more little tense than normal.
Once we got from the barn driveway to the actual road, he sighed.  I think he just needed to see the road and make sure there were NO dragons.  With the wind blowing, he just couldn't smell for the dragons. ;)
So, he, myself and Mason walked down and it was awesome, peaceful and serene.
The wind didn't bother him, the garbage cans didn't bother him, the birds flying out from Mason snuffling them out of the weeds, the man working in his garage...nothing.  
Laz seemed to enjoy this walk as much as I did.
Awesome.
Awesome.
He kept looking out, glancing to the right gently, glancing to the left gently, and had such a nice forward walk going in both directions.
I love when he's brave and enjoying his time out.
There was a point, when I was nervous to ride this horse alone.
Now, I love it and never worry

Our road walk..all the way down and back (shy of one house..too close to the main busy road)
Success!
And of course Mason enjoyed his Sunday romp out too.
He found some little streams to roll in and get as wet as possible, and followed us our entire ride (arena and out)
sweet water dog.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Apparently someone thinks he's too sweet to be rained upon

Boo!
Sick of rain...
Then the rain stopped for a few precious minutes, so I was able to groom Laz outside, where he prefers
I got a couple of Mule imitation confirmation shots
Shot A-I think looks decent
I don't know how to build up his neck and not sure he can handle that yet with his back end still healing
 Shot B
Is this a different horse? 
He looks chunkerMcChunkerson here! (or does he???)
wtf. 
He is one of, if not THE most worked out horse consistently at the barn and now, the chubbiest??
That makes no sense....hmmmm maybe too much winter beet pulp smoothies?! 
He was only getting 3 cups 3x a week. Maybe that was too much. Or maybe he's weight is ok...but he does have a hay belly. How? We trot, trot, trot, and do pole work.  I've done a little hill work with him but he gets soooo chargy and wants to jump or run up the little hills that I don't want him doing (yet)
 But then, rewind to last Friday..McRibsandwich below.
So, what gives....grrrrr
Whatever, maybe he's weight is OK, and I'm over thinking it

This poor boy could never halter show. 
Between herd bites and him flying into the new lean-to pole, he's all a mess.
I've cleaned his wounds out twice and boy is he telling me "IT HURTS!!!"
I opted not to ride him because of it. I just couldn't.
He was so tail swishy, leg cocking (um..NO!!!) when I even cleaned.  It's in an area where I wouldn't have touched it riding, but it seems to be bruised around so why bother.
The BO and I took Laz and Ponyeeee for a mile road walk instead.
 And of course, it was sprinkling which turned into a straight rain
Laz was partially calm, but when Ponyee wanted to pass him he got PISSY and wanted to get jiggy with it.
Then the bugs were bothering him despite me spraying him down (plus the rain washed most of it off) and he started melting down. Then as the rain came down harder, he was OVER our walk (when we were half way through) and wanted to start to jig, arch his neck and pop up, almost like if I let him he would have blasted back home at the gallop.  So I had to do a couple of circle lunges to get his brain back in his head
Ponyee: "wasss a beeg deal dummie?"
Laz : "I'm meeeelting!!!!!!!!!!!!"


Maybe to help with all the biting bugs that bother him so much (and biting horses) I may be purchasing this!
Reviews look good for fit and durability!
I'm also going to be trying out a "Basic H" mix for fly spray from Shaklee....we'll see!
Laz is so skin/bug sensitive and the bugs seem to flock to him.  So far the only spray that works on him is super toxic "Mosquito Halt" but with warning signs all over the bottle, I just don't feel right dousing his body in it anymore than I do breathing it in.  I've tried other all natural brands but they just don't work on him!

And just for fun, a video from the other day of Laz free trotting/canter.
Look at his front feet reach!
sweetness
video
He's come such a long way!
Yes, he is still off in the back, but better than ever.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obsessed

The best  view is between equine 
          ears

                                             ...don’t you agree?


and now I can stare at my boy's face 24/7, even while at work! 



Jealous?!
Don't be....get one made!!
Many of you may read this artist's blog already  "SOJOURNER"and her Etsy shop can be found on her site.  

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Some evaluations and comparisons

Someone luvs to perform his new trick to get a treat. 
I've created a monster
Funny thing is, I thought I was teaching him his 'smile' cue by touching his lip, but he chose to do the trick when he see me extend my pointer finger and point up. 
Funny what they figure out as their cue sometimes.
 The last couple weeks, we've had some nice rides, decent rides, great rides and some off rides when he wants to buck and romp around.  
I've noticed some riding patterns of mine that are teaching him how to use his body incorrectly, so I've been working on that.  For instance, when rounding around the arena, he wants to pull away from outside fence, when I push him over with my inside leg, he turns to the right or does a circle.  So I've noticed that I've been riding with a strong outside rein, along with inside leg and it's creating a banana curved shouldered out horse with his head at the arena fence but not turning with me to the right or left, depending on direction.  We have been working on that lately at the w/t.   I still am riding bitless/bareback and may pull the saddle out 1x a week to see if there are some positive changes with that, and maybe my old bitted bridle to see how he handles that.  We rode in a kimberwicke but I dont think he likes it so I'll have to play around with bits, or see if I can communicate what I want in my bitless, correctly.  He loves his bitless so I don't want to stray...that will be my last option.

And in feet news, here's a shot of his right rear from this past Friday...
 Here's an image from May 2010..so I see some positive changes for sure
And it's just starting to look more like a normal foot.
He is still 'lame' and off but that may have to do with muscular as well
I've thought about xrays, but I think for now...I'm opting to save the money and just keep trusting in Cliff and make sure Laz stays consistent with signs of positivity along the way.
 Something that helps his feet too, is being back in a herd and moving more constantly.
He and Sawyer (herd mate) get along, more so tolerate each other, but aren't really playful with each other.
They don't know how to communicate.  Sawyer wants to play, Laz doesn't and Sawyer will pester and follow him and then bites Laz, so Laz doesn't trust him.  That is my input from what I see...who knows what they think! :)  They also chose to stand by each other and show signs of relaxation around each other.
 Friday evening was high 80's and humid. Felt like mid July weather..yuck! Too much too fast.  Today as I write, it's 50's and rainy.
But Friday evening, we actually got a good ride in.
 Laz was a bit of a pistol and was agitated by the heat/bugs/the others being turned out to pasture, and we had some riding miscommunication which lead to a couple of tantrums during a canter request BUT we found some good spots, and he rode beautifully while a helicopter whizzed by, neighbors were shooting something rapid fire (wtf?!) and I was proud of him for not reacting to that poorly.  
 Poor sweaty boy!
So, he deserved a good hose down.
First one this year! 
Not a bath, just a hose, curry, sweat scrape job.
 It felt satisfying to feel his hot body cool down and allow him to graze a bit
 Mason got hosed down too!
Hopefully the weather will cooperate for this week being the weekend wasn't so great!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's the BEST when you get this picture via text of BO, while at work. It makes it all worth it....
My baby at daycare, napping with his dwarf friend, lol!
 Finally this week has had some sun and decent weather, my spring flowers are finally awake!
My phlox...love phlox!
 My purple hyacinths...best smell ever 

Speaking of Spring...I love this Ombre hair color thing. 
I know some people hate it, but I love how effortless glam it is.
and someone else has been sporting that Ombre look at the barn, for a couple of years.
He's ahead of the fashion curve, obviously.

 Cliff came and gave Laz a pedicure and things are still looking great.  He wants to do a bit of thrush treatment as 2 of his feet look a touch thrushy. Darn it but I thought so maybe too.  We'll tackle that on Thursday.  I turned Laz out for a romp in the arena and boy did he ROMP.

"I gots neeew feets to runs on!!"
 "Look Mom...one leg!"
 "Yippppeeee!"
 "I flys off the ground, all feets up!!"
 zip
 ziiip
 trit trotting slowing down

Before tacking up for our ride, the sun started to peak out
Hmmm...maybe someone up there acknowledges our time together and continues to allow it
I'm just saying.......!!!! ;)
THANK you
 "Wass that??!"
 "Oh it's Mealsons....whew"
Sweet boy Mason turned 8 yrs old on Tuesday!
He had a good day playing at his favorite place, the barn!
He also got organic canned duck for dinner and a new toy!
 "Did you say organicducknewtoy?"
 Our ride simply rocked. It was serene, quiet, sunny and Laz was forward, forward, forward but BRAVE and willing to listen, bend and work.  I think he felt re-energized since our clinic
He was a pure joy to ride. PURE joy
 Coming to say bye after our ride, and me trying to feed him his leftover beet pulp slurpee with flax
His been less interested in it since the lush spring grass sprung

This is what I love about being an equestrian. 
Sure, my riding outfit may cost over $200 at any given time, but it's covered in muck, hair, carrot drool and my car always stinks like a stable and looks like this:
Tis the life and I LOVE it
 Now that Mason is a big boy, at 8 yrs old, he got to sit in the front seat.
LOL! Not really ideal for having room for him to be totally comfortable, but he seemed to enjoy the new views.  Anyway, he was in the front because I garbage picked an old bench that I want to re-purpose
 I have to say, having my Bubba next to me while driving home was heaven. I got to rub his ears and talk to him that much more and we shared a few raw almonds on the drive home.  
Sweet boy...