Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Wound Healing Pics

Here's Allie's wound from 2 days after it happened to today. It is on the inside of her near fore (note the chestnut).


She has one week left of wrapping. I think it looks good. No hint of lameness (touch wood) so hopefully she will be all good, and soon!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Horse, this isn't helping...

I trimmed Allie's fronts on Sunday. She was acting very weird. It's only the second time I have trimmed her, as she trimmed herself on the road when they got out and I haven't had to touch them. Funny how the road trimmed them with better balance than I had!

The first time I trimmed her she was generally well behaved until the motorbikes next door (!!) started up (again) when I got to her last hoof, then she just didn't want to stand still with one hoof caught in case she needed to make a quick get away from those monsters... This was about a week after I first got her home. She was very bad about picking up her feet, which I quickly decided had to change! She is a trimmer's horse now!

So back to Sunday.  She had about a half centimeter of wall growth so it was time for the rasp to come out. I started with her wounded leg (pics of healing wound to be posted soon, it's looking really good today!) and she was good... for about .3 seconds. Then she decided it was a good time to practice airs above the ground! She was leaping forward as if I was a lion and I had her leg in my mouth. So I persisted, and she persisted, until I decided maybe her bandage was cutting into the back of her knee with it bent? So I took it off, hoping for a better reaction... Nope. Same idiotic leaping forward and arguing about the fact I had her leg between my knees (and even when I was just holding it in my hands!).

So we had words, and she copped it (verbally, I don't think she has been growled at much before) and by the time I got to her other front hoof, she would stop struggling if I just said "AH!". It was more of a training exercise than a trim to be honest, but that is the beauty of trimming your own horses. If you need to, you can put the rasp down and try again another day, without having to pay another $50 for a separate trim! So that was Miss A.

Gracie was trimmed one day last week, can't remember when. She was, surprisingly, an angel! She just stood tied up, and she was being so good that I thought I would reward her (and prolong the good behavior) by giving her a hay net while I trimmed. Angel... couldn't have asked her to be better behaved. She has struggled in the past with how I hold her hind leg to sight the heels (holding it by the crook of the hock and looking down the back of the canon bone from above). She normally hates this and slams her hoof on the ground before I can get a proper look. But the other day, she totally ignored me. I trimmed her sitting on my little milk crate for heaven's sake! That is normally reserved for much older, calmer, safer horses. Naw, our little girl is growing up! I think she behaved because:
a. She has been trying to suck up to me ever since she kicked me and I chased her away the other day, and b. She has been wanting some work again! I think she is totally b.o.r.e.d. being a pasture pet at the moment.

Well, that is all about to change because tomorrow is a public holiday (Australia Day) and I intend on starting them both back on the lunge. I think the regime will go like this:

4 days in one week, 25-35 minute walk on lunge, Gracie with 10 minutes trot, Allie 5 minutes trot. Allie to wear chambon and depending on her sensibility, maybe a couple mils of ace. Gracie can go crazy for all I care, she is clever and knows where her feet are at any given time. Allie is a bit dumb and may well trip over her own galumph feet in her excitement at doing something other than eat.

Week two will consist of 5 more minutes trot each, then we should be sensible and ready enough for saddles and riding again by week 3. Hopefully the saddler will have found me a saddle by then, otherwise it is bareback for me!

How fun.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


I feel so frustrated at the entire 'fireworks=horses escaping' scenario. It is not fair that my poor brand new, in-work fit horse is now out of work due to injury because of somebody else's gross negligence, somebody else's total failure to consider their neighbors and at least tell me that they were going to have fireworks. Allie was fat, glossy, shiny, (almost) scar free, she was just learning how to balance at the canter with a rider aboard, she had a lovely topline, lovely neck, and was just a picture of health.
Now, she won't eat properly, has dropped weight, lost most of her topline (especially over her loins and her neck), and her coat is covered in scars from cuts during the whole fiasco. Her leg is wounded, bandaged all the time, and she is only just now starting to go back to what she was.

I have another week and a half of wrapping to get through, then a re-assessment to see if it can be left open yet. Then, two weeks at least just on the lunge, mainly at walk with a chambon on to encourage long low topline building, THEN I hope to have a sit on to start the fitness building again, which will take about 3-4 weeks to get her back to where she was fit enough to cope with the schooling she needs. That will take me to mid March probably. I was hoping to have my first lesson with my chosen dressage trainer right about now! I probably won't get to a lesson until end March, early April. That is if I can keep her fitness up after daylight savings finish. Hum hum hum. It just shits me. I have these dreams for this horse and I, and I want to get started dammit!!!
She is sound, and I could possibly start the lunge walking now I think, but she can be a bit of a handful on the lunge and I don't know if I want to risk her chucking a spaz and hurting herself before she is ready for it. What to do? I could ace her for the lunging maybe? I just get really upset looking at her wasted muscles and I don't even want to take any pictures of her at the moment because (to me) she looks so crap, while in my care. I feel like I have failed her. She used to be one of 55 horses where I got her from, and she looked AMAZING. Now she is one of 3, and my only horse, and just to look at her breaks my heart. :(
Poor Allie. Gracie on the other hand is thoroughly enjoying the holiday, and is quickly becoming a menace. She kicked me the other day!! I saw it coming and got out of the way quick enough that I only copped the very end of it in the chest and arm, but still! It wasn't directed at me, but at the other two horses and I was in the way. She KNOWS that it is NOT OK to act like that when there is a person there. She needs to be back in work. Her injuries are fine now, just a little bit of surface healing to go. So Miss Trouble, be warned!!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

This is Allie (with Savanna in the back ground) eating dinner under a blanket of threatening storm clouds. Note all the feed spilt all over the ground? Yeah... that's how she eats. Very annoying.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Hi January! Time to re-cap my December goals:

1. Get a dressage saddle that fits us both.
Well, I have decided which saddle I want - the KN Ouverture Victoria. At first I felt sore in the back because I felt it was tilting my hip too far forward, but after a couple of rides I found it so comfortable, super supportive and I don't even mind the knee rolls, which I thought I would hate. It puts me in a really nice position, and it fits Allie well. I even had about 3 or maybe 4 trail rides in that saddle, with rearing while out, and she put in a big buck while we were cantering the other day, and I was very secure.

The saddler said she was a very wide horse, and that 90% of the saddles he has wouldn't fit her!

The only problem is that brand new, this saddle retails at $4695. WAY over my $2000 max budget. So I am on the look out for a nice second hand, 17.5 inch black KN Ouverture Victoria. It's so pretty though.

So I guess this goal is half complete. I am not getting a saddle until my horse is healed, but I still have the loan saddle from the saddler, so hopefully he forgets about it for another month to 6 weeks (!!) so I can start Allie back in work with it without paying out money for a saddle yet. Wish me luck!

2. Borrow the neighbor's float and do some float practice with both of them.
So we never ended up borrowing any one's float in December, but as you know if you click back one post, we DID end up floating the both of them home when they escaped. Allie walked straight on, but was an impatient shit while we were loading Gracie. (Who could blame her though? It was 40 degrees, she was covered in blood and flies and has a hole in her leg!). Gracie was so good, even though she was terrified. It did take us about 10 minutes to coax her on, but she tried so hard to be a good girl, and that is the main point. Should I count that? They were super duper exhausted, so they didn't put up a fight. I think we call this partially complete. :)

3. Ride/work her on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday.
We had so.much.rain. But I did manage to ride/lunge her 3 times a week for most of December. We were just getting to canter under saddle (which is when she threw in the buck from built up impulsion she didn't know what to do with!) and then NYE happened and now she is out of work for at least another 4 weeks from today. Hmph. So this goal is a success, despite rain. I did have two weeks off work though, which helped!

4. Get her cantering under saddle confidently. See above point - not cantering confidently under saddle yet, but going very well on the lunge. She finds it harder going to the right, needs a bigger circle and more room. To the left she's great. I will have to start all over again though once she is back in work. :(

5. Take both girls out on a trail ride in the bush around my house. HUGE success! We rode out at least 3 times, I think maybe 4? In the bush. Casey brought her horse over and we all went for a ride for about 2 hours, and they were generally well behaved. Allie chucked a rearing hissy fit because she had to wait while the other two went through a big muddy puddle first, and Gracie lost it once the motor bikes got to her. But other than that, the other rides out went really well. Allie got in a couple of BIG trots, while Gracie cantered along behind or in front. We came across some roos to, and they handled that well. Gracie is the brave one. Allie needs to be pushed for her bravery, but will step up to the plate when asked. Very happy with this goal. :)
January Goals:

  1. Keep Allie's wound infection-free. Help it heal 100%
  2. Put some more weight back on her (she dropped A LOT of weight due to the trauma of NYE. They didn't settle and wouldn't eat their feeds until I brought Savanna back. So now I have 3 mares here. :P).
  3. Teach Allie to lower her head on command. She is not bad about it, just she is a very tall horse when she wants to be!
  4. Tie-up training with Allie. I am thinking of getting one of those Blocker Tie Rings to help.
  5. Teach her to pick up her feet on cue. She is quite bad at actually picking up her feet. Once they are up, she is fine. She just plants them though, and it is hard to get her to budge.
So non-riding related, of-course.

Pics are from 27th November (before her coat was bleached by the sun and she got all cut up and lost weight and walked around tucked-up all the time).

She may be super pretty, but she is a bit of an air-head. :P

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Worst, Crappest, Most Horrible Day Ever...

My poor horses....

I went out on New Years Eve against my better judgement. I arrived home at 2am to find (a darker version) of this:

My fences were down, and my horses were gone.

There was very little sign as to which way they went. Did they gallop into the hundreds of acres of bush around my house? Did they run down the road and get out on to the main road and get hit by a car? Did they jump in with another horse? I had no idea. I felt helpless. I felt hopeless. I honestly though we would never see them again. I remember screaming and crying, I was hysterical.

I called my sister to come help find them. She brought my Mum and her boyfriend. Dad came to drop off more torches too. My lovely neighbor and her husband came out of their house and proceeded to help me look for them. After about a half hour of looking for them, there was a very bad car accident around the corner from my place. There were cops and ambulance everywhere. We couldn't get close enough to see, and the cop I was asking couldn't tell me if there were horses involved or not. My mind was playing tricks on me, and I thought I could hear screaming horses. It took all I had to not run over to the scene of the accident to find out. Finally a more senior cop came over and told us that there was no evidence that horses were involved at all. Thank God!

We searched the bush, calling to them in the dark with massive spiders and webs all through the place. Just at daybreak, I didn't know what else to do... I put a status update on Facebook, asking for help. And help came!! Michelle, Peta, and Sima were the first to arrive. They went door knocking, making heaps of friends in the area!

Natalie and I went on a 2 hour long trek through the bush in daylight to see if there was any sign. There wasn't.

Through out the morning we had riders arrive to help search the bush - Casey and Jess, Linda and Celine, Tim, Tom and Veronica. My sister Erin and her family came in their 4WD and drove through the bush. Tracey came with as much moral support as a girl could wish for!! There were so many people that came to help, it was the most heart warming thing ever!!

In the end, at 12pm on the 1st, I broke down and cried again. Andrew couldn't stand watching me like that and took the car out again, determined to find them. And about 30 minutes later, I got THE call... They were safe!! Andrew had found them!! He was hysterically happy on the phone to me! We took Tom's float around the corner to get them. They had indeed run onto the main road as I feared, and had almost been hit by a truck. The truck driver has horses of his own, and so understood what to do with them. He got them safely into someone's paddock. They gave them food and water and I am forever grateful!!

We loaded them up (Gracie only digging her heels in for about 10 minutes! Good girl!) and brought them home.

When we got them home, the poor things looked like this:



Gracie's wounds, while still very painful (as she keeps reminding us) are superficial, thank God. They will scar, but should not affect her in any way once she heals.

Allie on the other hand, stabbed herself with what looks like a star picket, and scratched/chipped the bone. 10 days antibiotics, and 4 weeks of wrapping. HOPEFULLY there will be no infection, because if there is, there could be some serious complications with the bone. Loss of use possible. Might I remind you this is my brand new bloody expensive future eventer?!?!

The reason they fled the paddock is fire works that our neighbors let off. I now HATE HATE HATE fireworks!

So that is the story of the worst day of my entire existence.