9.21.2016

sharing video's

I try not to hit forward on most things that cross my feeds, and add to our over stimulated society. But some things just hit home, and warrant repeating. Incase you didn't see the video that is circulating on a blind horse and his owner, you should. It warms my heart. What a great guy, and rider!



Have you noticed an increase in forwards & shares, in general? I have. Altho I rarely click on this type of stuff, I would not have seen this blind horse video, or the one below of an 87 year old woman's last wish, if someone had not taken a second to share it.

https://www.facebook.com/Beeldwerk.TV/videos/1289047834471385/

Sorry this video is via a link. I can't find the actual video (you can see it even if you don't do Facebook) because it's um, in German. However, words aren't needed. It too is worth the time to watch. If you choose to do so, stick it out until the end. It will pull on your heartstrings. 

The world could use more positive stimulation, and less negative. Just spreading the good word.

9.16.2016

nemo & allergies

It's mid September, allergies should be gone. But they are not, and neither is our endless rain...sigh.
 
Today is the last application of a ten day course of the latest treatment attempt to help Nemo with his allergy symptoms, Equiwinner patches. I don't fully understand how electrolyte patches help allergies, other then balancing systems, but apparently they do. Just not Nemo.

We also are trying a new mask called Guardian Horse Mask. I came across them while doing online research. From everything I've read, they are very helpful for horses struggling with light and affected eyes. A horse mask with sunglasses, who knew??! These masks are all handmade, and the company has been great to work with. Jury is still out if it is making a difference for Nemo.

 
For several years, we've tried various courses off/on of Dexamethasone. Most years it's worked like magic. This year he initially showed some improvement, but it didn't come close to clearing symptoms up. We gave Cyproheptadine a whirl (along with Dex) it didn't work at all. He is currently off both. Brad hauled him to the vet to get his nose & throat scoped, nothing was found out of the ordinary. I have seasonal allergies myself, and know they are ever changing.

Nemo is double masked. We added a nose piece, and have limited his turnout during sunny days. Of course night only turnout is a possibility. It doesn't really solve the problem and puts him out of his regular lifestyle. We are less then thrilled about the idea in general.

Brad hasn't been able to ride him for weeks, not even indoors. Would like him to try some type of nose band to apply gentle pressure. Some folks are having success making them out of panty hose. Nemo is so unhappy he even bit his beloved human in his stall, while Brad was giving him some hay. So uncharacteristic. It's only happened once before. When he was a yearling walking in the pasture, testing Brad. Thought maybe Nemo just missjudged, but guess it was deliberate. I am sure Nemo was sending a message, he feels left out, and crummy. I know most horses don't care, but Nemo is one of those horses who visibly would rather not share his human. It was naughty, and really made his owner mad. I do think Nemo knows we are trying to help him. He puts his big head in our hands, looking for rubs & relief. Even with me.

Our vet has mentioned he thinks Nemo is allergic to something growing in the pastures. We think so too. It's a tough balance when Nemo prefers to be outside. All we can hope for is winter, and eventually moving him to our new home. The new location might not solve a darn thing. However it will allows us to manage the pastures and his care ourselves.

We are in the process of finding out what to try next, from our vet. Thankfully there are other options. I plan to look further into natural alternative's, most likely to try when we bring him home.

I found a very informative vet's website that has been compiling research on Head Shaking, altho much doesn't apply to Nemo and his allergies, some does. He falls under the Photic Headshaking section: http://www.headshakerinfo.org/

 
Suggestions on what has worked for others are welcome. 


9.12.2016

now that it's over

Brad & Cierra's first show season is officially over. Not only did he achieve his original goal of completing the patterns, he accomplished more then he ever dreamed possible in his first year! Four shows later, Brad has learned a lot about riding and competing in AQHA Ranch classes. He worked hard preparing for months and months, taking two lessons a week. Brad is a completely different rider now, more refined and knowledgeable. 

His last show of the season was the WQHA State Labor Day weekend show. He competed in Ranch Trail for the first time, as well as Ranch Pleasure, and Ranch Conformation. It was nice they offered more Ranch classes at this big five day show. It was held at the same venue as the Midwest Horse Fair. Like everything, the place has it's good & bad qualities. The two pavilions house the stalls & show arena's under the same roof (well, actually two roofs) making it very convenient, but distracting. Ask Cierra, she doesn't like the arena's.

Regardless, they did okay overall. Thank goodness Cierra has a good head on her shoulders. Brad's first class was Trail. The rope (drag obstacle) got caught on his spur *yikes* and he didn't realize it right away. He began to lope off still attached, could have easily been a wreck...he finished the pattern in style, but of course they docked him for it.

I don't recall all their placings. Typically they land somewhere in the middle. What really matters is how they ride together, unfortunately they were visibly off in some areas. I felt kinda bad for Brad to end the season with sub-par rides in Ranch Pleasure. It's the class he cares the most about. However, things turned around on the last class, of the last day, of his last show - Ranch Conformation. Cierra walked away with four AQHA points! It was amazing considering the beautiful horse that wins - every single time - was there, competing among other really really nice Quarter Horses. Cierra ended up with the following AQHA points this season:

Ranch Pleasure: 3 points
Ranch Trail: 1/2 point
Ranch Conformation: 4 points


Brad proudly earned the lions share of these points (
Trail point was from his trainer riding the Open Class). 

Another recent highlight was the surprise piece of snail mail he received. He qualified and got his first invitation to show at the AQHA World Show in October! So cute how he shared his excitement with those that understand what this means to him. I would show you a pic of the fancy folder, but I think he is sleeping with it under his pillow? Just kidding! He did drive around with it in his truck for a while. Incase you've never seen one, the invitation is a glossy folder filled with letters, info and forms. Including one to purchase a special over priced show qualifier buckle:

In my effort to be supportive I said "you should go" his response was "no way, I would pee my pants" lol! The World Show is a whole different level, and he knows he is not ready. I have no doubt that some day, the invitation will be accepted. Many people qualify every year, in reality it's no big deal. But for someone who never thought they would, it is.

Now that his show season is over, it's back to work. Among other things, he plans on learning flying lead changes. As for me, I'll continue to practice riding on my own. Hopefully I won't mess my horse up too bad in the process!

Sorry no show photos. AQHA rules...I did get written permission to take some photos of my rider during non-judged times. Will share a few of those in another post, after I look over them!

Thanks for reading along! Hope all is well in your blogger corner of the world!!

8.31.2016

sending off summer

Just a few more days before summer, it's wetness, heat & humidity, pesky bugs, and dreaded allergies, will be behind us. I hope. I love all four seasons. Really I do. We had a good summer, altho we didn't trail ride much. We just can't get Nemo's allergies under control...poor guy. I appreciate each season. They all pass too quickly, before the next one shows up with all it's good & not so good offerings. But I know first hand how allergies can rule your life. As I sit here with head fog, watery eyes and blowing my nose. This year allergies are ruling Nemo's life, and it sucks.

Right after my last post, our horse got switched back into the big pasture with shade. Nemo is still glued to Koda. It turns out shade isn't the only reason he follows him, instead it appears to be more of a comfort thing. Nemo doesn't follow Cierra around, just Koda. He has big lush Fabio like hair to hide under, and they've been together since birth. It is so uncharacteristic of Nemo (an alpha horse) makes me sad. In part his change in demeanor is the meds he is on. First one, then another, now two, higher doses, smaller doses - doesn't matter. None of it works. He is miserable. I can't wait for him to feel better.

The show season will also soon be behind us. One more show to go...Brad plans to compete in Ranch Trail for the first time, and also Ranch Pleasure and Conformation. It's a bigger show then the others, and I hope for Cierra's sake he finds a way to not be so nervous on day one. He is the only one who can.

My rides on Koda continue going well, and ever changing. He has switched back to favoring his right lead. Go figure. Darn counter canter really messed us up! We stopped working on that right after we barely started, guess we I am not ready yet. Need to get my lefts & rights, right. Right? No, left! Will be a challenge whenever we get back to it. Counter canter is so easy for him, and smooth. Such a smart horse, keeps my skills up. 

Among other things, we continue working on extended trot, two tracking and always soft releases & asks. I recently (re) started getting him to move his front half over. Turns on the haunches have always been my demise, and what happened to his side pass? In particular to the left...it's all good fun and Koda is being a really really good boy and putting up with me.

We haven't made any more progress with our land, other then checking on things...


securing the tarp

 ...and watching the alfalfa grow and grow, and grow. Sigh. We have had SO much rain this year! Much to Brad's dismay, we will have to cut a healthy looking fourth crop...and find a place to store it. The good third (first for grass) crop is in our neighbors barn, the stuff under the tarp got rained on while we were stacking. Not ideal, but most is okay. We won't have to cut grass again this year, the alfalfa on the other hand...


good problem to have?

Our gardens at home are weeds this year, I mean weird this year. Impossible to keep up with! We've enjoyed fresh veggies regardless. These Carmen Red Peppers are our favorite...




Other then that my life this summer has gone to the (grand) dogs. Thank goodness they eventually wear out...


10 weeks old vs 3 years old

We have some fun stuff planned for this Fall, horse and non-horse! It's hard to wait, but makes for good anticipation. Everyone will agree, Fall will be a nice change. Until next time, be well my friends!