The Hunter Clip

I prefer a full body clip over other styles, but I put Eli’s needs first. And he needs those legs to be fuzzy. And he needs a back patch for the saddle.

I don’t think he needs a hairy face, necessarily, but clipping over his face dent does freak me out a little so he gets to keep his face hair this winter.

Eli is very amenable to clipping. He is okay with me clipping his legs and I have in the past. But he also bangs his legs up in turnout. My hope is that if I leave the thick hair, it’ll offer some protection from smaller scrapes and dings.

I realize that a traditional hunter clip would mean clipping a smaller, contured patch for the saddle and clipping all of his head. My back dictated skipping the extra time on a step stool.

Eli looks okay to me! And he is now much less itchy. Body clipping is practically a necessity here in Texas. It maybe be almost November, but it’s getting up to 90° every afternoon this week. Could you imagine living outside in a fur coat in 90°? No thanks! Eli also dries so much faster now, too, if he needs a rinse after a ride. In this climate, I really can’t think of why you wouldn’t clip!

Tack Locker Refresh

Most of this is now not in my locker.

My tack locker at the barn isn’t a large space, but it is definitely enough for a saddle, some strap goods, a few sets of boots … I crammed quite a bit more than that in there over the years. A lot of it was collecting dust and getting very little use. So I took out everything that needed cleaning, and sorted through that to see what actually needed to stay in my locker.

The snicky-snake commuting from feed room to the locker bay! There’s some kind of tiny space under the lockers — the snake is going there and not in someone’s actual locker. I haven’t seen any mice lately (other than a dead one in the arena, ew) so Ms. Serpentes gets the right-of-way. I am certain this is not a venomous one.

A few things got to stay in my locker, like the roller ball spurs and Eli’s spare halter. The rest came to my house to live in a bin or on a shelf. This still leaves quite a bit of stuff in my locker — three bridles, many bits (because you never know), a few girths, saddle and saddle pads (duh), spare clippers, many pairs of boots …

Myler full cheek = nap time? Or is it exasperation? This bridle gets to stay in my locker because I actually use it occasionally! I really like how Eli goes in it, but it’s a bit too much bit for everyday use.

I’m constantly weeding my closet, too. So guess what’s next? Yep, you guessed it: a few things for sale…

60″ SmartPak poly fleece quarter sheet, like new, $40.
Sheepskin Eskadron fetlock boots, GUC, $30. I … don’t need three pairs of these.
Le Fash shirt, medium, showed in once, $35

So in addition to a little spring cleaning in pleasant fall weather, Eli got clipped! More on that on Thursday.

He managed to get real fuzzy real fast and then this is Texas though and wow did he need less hair in this pre-fall heat. As you can see above, he is fuzzy and in an outside set of crossties — these are new to the barn. It’s a set up for the farriers to work in, but I am slightly apprehensive about how Eli is going to handle that — it is right next to the turn outs, and if horses are out there playing around, he is NOT going to stand still for anyone. The round pen is nearby, too, and again … well. Anyway, I took him out there myself before he’s due for shoes again, and I will probably take him out there a few more times. His farrier is not his trainer and has no duty to introduce Eli to a new situation like that, so I am trying to get Eli accustomed to the space first. When the weather’s nice, it seems like an otherwise nice set of crossties! The barn owner is continually making improvements like this to the barn and property and I really appreciate her dedication.

Rocks Eat Horses

Progress continues on improvements the barn owner has underway at the barn. Some landscaping boulders have been placed along the driveway. Eli first noticed these on Thursday and he was exceptionally cautious about approaching them. I held off introducing him to the rocks because some workers were still messing around with equipment nearby – which Eli didn’t care about – and I didn’t need a spooky horse to spin into or fly backwards into a front end loader or whatever. Large hissing machinery = no reaction. Giant rock = many snorts and pounding heartbeat. I don’t get it but whatever, Eli!

Fortunately, the introduction drama was shortlived on Friday. Eli did indeed snort more, cautiously approached on tiptoes with lots of ducking, half-spins, and steps backward. Then I had the above genius idea of standing on one … see, Eli? Mommy killed the rock. The rock is dead and can’t eat you. We grazed along and smelled all the dead rocks and everything ended peacefully.

In less rock-y news, Eli is doing brilliantly. He’s flatting well and getting stronger. He is also packing it on, so I’d say the Purina Outlast is doing its job. My hope is to start riding him in a few group lessons a month as my schedule allows. We both need it! A little more structure can’t hurt. I am still not inclined to jump him much, but he happily and quietly canters crossrails right now. He might miss jumping a wee bit?

And last bit for right now – I have a NWT AA Motionlite for sale. Black, size small. I love these coats but I would rather have a green or navy one. (And obviously I’m wearing the Aviation Blue in this blog’s header). $200 shipped in continental US but maybe you could talk me into a blogger discount.

I realize blogging on a Saturday is kind of awkward, and blogging from my phone is even more awkward! But that’s what works for me right now.

Weenie Wednesday: Doing Better!

Indecisively staring at his toy basket.

 

My squishy little weenie man seems to be doing much better after all the ER vet drama. (I was pretty much the drama part.) Conrad has his sass and energy level back (still a very low-energy dog at home) and I am making a change to his diet.

And he seems to being doing well after this change! His previous food had a crude fat min. percentage that I think is just too high for his sensitive stomach to tolerate any more, considering his age. I found a few things that have less than half that and so far he is loving it. He had gotten very reluctant to eat his food, and now I understand why. It was probably making his tummy ache a little every time he ate. Poor little man.

Could possibly be trying to hypnotize me into giving him fried deli turkey.

 

So we are sticking with the newer diet, helping the transition with boiled white meat chicken and white rice, which Conrad wished he could eat all the time.

The chicken and rice gets warmed up and mixed in with the new food — I think Conrad prefers warm food to cold. He can’t eat a whole can of dog food in one go, obviously, so his dog food gets refrigerated. Putting the warm food in with the cold food makes it easier for him to eat for sure.

Go-Go Juice

It had been … some time … since Eli had last had his stifles injected. Because I have FINALLY been able to ride him regularly over the summer, I did notice that his hind end was not really as active or powerful as usual. No question it’s his stifles. But with the suspensory treatment and rehab, and then the thin soles, therapeutic shoeing, and medicating, and then treating ulcers … injections kept getting bumped down (somewhat inadvertently on my part – I easily could have done his injections sooner!). He got injected a few weeks ago, and there is a noticeable difference in his hind end. Yay for modern veterinary medicine and the go-go juice!

For a while now, I had been sitting on a horse that felt like he was lacking in some energy. That has changed. To the point where I’m like, oh, crap, can I ride this dragon? Ha. Of course I can, I know. He felt SO GOOD last night, and was very focused on top of that. It makes for a fun combination in Eli. I have more confidence now that I can ask a little more of him. Not a lot more – he is 17 – but he feels like a horse that could jump around again.

I tried feeding Eli a treat from the saddle. He was confused because I never do that. He kept walking the opposite direction that I was leaning over so I might have, maybe, could have almost fallen off out of my own stupidity. We’ll keep treats for the ground handling. When he finally got it, his face was like, wait, a treat, why you do this now? This not normal. Luckily, his long neck saved me.

In other news, I had to have both of my DeNiro boot snaps, the top ones, replaced with in a few weeks of each other on my Salentos. Another pair of my DeNiros needs a full zipper replacement on one of the boots. So add that to the pair I have had for years that need full zipper replacement on both of the boots. The fit is excellent, the leather wears extremely well and seems very durable, but gah, DeNiro. Your hardware. It kind of sucks! Still my favorite boots by far, but I may need to branch out and try a different brand with better hardware. My Ego7s have better hardware! Not sure I want to spring for Tuccis just now, though. I have been DROOLING over the Celeris boots. And for full custom, their base prices seem very reasonable …

What else? Oh, it is still hot here, but we have had a break from the 100+ temperatures and even got some rain this week. So there’s grass. And humidity, which I don’t like, but we really needed the rain and could use a little more for sure.

Well, it is the end of the fiscal year at my job, so I don’t have too much else to say on the pony. I rely on Eli a little too much for emotional gratification, but he always manages to come through, whether it’s by him just being his grumpy ass self or giving me a great ride like last night. Fingers crossed he keeps eating the Outlast! He seems to love it almost as much as the German Horse Muffins, and that is saying a lot.

Omeprazole for Everyone!

Omeprazole: I’ve taken it myself. Eli just finished up a course of it. And now Conrad gets some for a few days.

Yep, this little man, who was quite himself on Tuesday — had a good walk, ate his meals, snuggled in his blankets — was just not right on Wednesday. This not-rightness went on all day and I finally decided he need to go to the emergency vet as he was refusing any and all food and treats. He had some other symptoms, too, and generally looked like he had a bad tummy ache.

Fortunately, the ER vet called with his blood work around 9:30pm on Wednesday night and said everything looked good other than that he was very dehydrated. He got IV fluids and antibiotics (because he had signs of some GI inflammation) and small bites of food and drank well overnight. Conrad felt much better Thursday morning. I got to pick him up and he was sent home with the antibiotics and omeprazole. He was also vvveeerrrrrryyy tired. The ER vet experience was interesting but very organized and seemed to work well. While it was upsetting that I couldn’t go in with Conrad due to COVID-19 restrictions, the vet and office were very helpful and communicative and everything was done through phone calls and emails. I’d use this ER vet clinic again if I had to! For anyone in the Austin area, it’s the Central Texas Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Round Rock. There is also a south location. There is a third location in northwest Austin, but that location is temporarily closed.

Conrad fussed a bit until he got comfortable on his sofa in my “home office” …

I’m going to split up his meals into three a day instead of two as the vet recommended this. And he can keep having his boiled white meat chicken toppings, so he’ll be happy about that! He has been eating and drinking well since he has been at home, too, so dear dachshund gods, please do not let my dog forget to drink water anymore!

In Eli news, in addition to the Incrediwear Circulation Wraps, Eli gets to wear wet Incrediwear Hoof Socks after a ride. His front feet need AAAALLLLLLLL of the help they can get. Don’t worry, his farrier is wonderful and I stand ready with Sole Pack paddies at all times, but I figure a little cooling down, especially in the coronet band region, can’t hurt, either!

The hoof socks are really interesting — they are super stretchy so not difficult to get on. You just gotta be careful about snagging them on nails but I have avoided that so far. They can be worn basically all the time when dry. I don’t think Eli needs that kind of use, but I do love using them after a ride.

I hose off Eli, put these on, and hose them off. He stands in front of fans to dry, so after all of that his fetlocks and hooves are nice and cool. The hoof socks seems almost foolproof to use, so if therapeutic polo wraps aren’t your thing, these would be a good alternative.

Debating with myself whether I can get him to wear a pair on his hind legs with no drama …

Eli is a very lucky pony because he’s got some Incrediwear standing wraps to try now, too. I see some goofy rooster walking in his future. I am even tempted to try the standing bandages on his front legs in hopes of a little extra padding to keep his right hoof/shoe from rubbing his right elbow when he lays down. I think it is just TOO HOT here for any kind of overnight wrap, but maybe in a few weeks the weather oven will no longer be on broil.

And one last thing — a few have commented on Conrad’s fuzzy blankets and I wanted you to know they are inexpensive and easy to get and come in a variety of colors. Strangely enough if you search “game of thrones blanket” they come up.

These blankets are fleecy on the inside and furry on the outside. They wash well, they don’t pill up, and they don’t shed in the wash or on furniture. Conrad might have three… the Rose Dust color is tempting me …

Weenie Wednesday: Conrad Pretends It Is Cold Outside

If you saw Conrad only in the house, you’d think it’s 40F and raining.

He does love a good fuzzy blanket. But it’s warm outside, so he’s not wearing any cute outfits on our walks.

He did get a bandanna for being a good boy for the groomer!

We’ll just be over here pretending it’s winter until it is actually winter. Then we’ll be too cold.

Playing Catch Up Again

Blogging on a Saturday … What have Eli and I been up to lately? He finished off his Gastrogard some time ago but seems to be doing quite well, other than it being hotter than the surface of the sun in Texas at this time of year. I had been riding him every other day and the most exciting thing we have done in the past few weeks is cantering some poles. Eli was well overdue for stifle injections, so he just got those this past Wednesday. This coincides with daily highs of 106F so I am not sad about no riding for three days. My plan is to get back on him on Sunday (tomorrow) and probably do very little. I am still struggling with the humidity in the mornings and it may be still 100F at 8pm on Sunday so … yeah, it is hot here.

I did try Eli out on a longe line for the first time since before he injured his RH suspensory ligament. He remembered almost everything and we had only one incident of him losing his mind (at — no surprise — the canter). But he came back quickly and listened for the rest of the brief session. I have no plans to incorporate ground work frequently, but maybe every once in a while would be good for Eli’s questionable listening skills on the ground. At least he is attentive under saddle.

One of the things that has plagued Eli the ENTIRE time I have known him, about 8 years, is elbow dandruff on his right elbow. And just his right elbow. I have tried a variety of things over the years, for a few weeks at a time, and nothing really helps. I’ve tried washing with betadine, Vetrolin, Banixx; I’ve tried MTG, Neosporin, Gold Bond, Zephyr’s Skin Rescue Salve, Krudzapper (never again as it made Eli’s skin VERY angry), Corona, and I am taking the Desitin route right now. I am sure I have tried a few other things, too, and am just not remembering it all. Desitin actually seems to do the most good, but this is some damned persistent flakiness. While Eli’s vet was out to do his stifles, I asked about it. Eli’s vet suggested that it could be from the way he lays down, like his shoe might be irritating his elbow. This, of course, makes complete sense and I am glad I asked about it because I don’t think I would have thought of it at all. As far as capped elbows or shoe boils go, Eli’s is mild. Now, what to do about it? I hesitate to go straight to a shoe boil boot because I think that could cause pastern irritation. I could either try wrapping Eli’s right front with cotton padding and vet wrap, or I could try standing bandages. I’ll probably try both eventually. I am not sure how sustainable going through vet wrap & cotton on a nightly basis would be, and I can’t make it out to he barn to wrap Eli during the day, but overnight standing bandages might be okay?

It was SO hot yesterday that all I did with Eli was rinse him off. 106F at 6:30pm. UGHHHHH. He stays pretty comfortable in his stall at this time of day and he has a high powered fan. His stall gets a good breeze. But wow. The air felt kind of like when you are baking something in the oven and you open the oven door and the hot air hits you in the face. THAT hot. Where everything is hot, feels hot, and looks hot.

Could it possibly be October yet? Or even just back to highs in the mid-90s?

Weenie Wednesday: Sleeping on the Job

Conrad now understands what “we gotta go to work” means. It means we go upstairs to my corner office and he takes his spot on the couch. He hops right up the stairs when I say it. Of course, why have apprehension about work when your job is to sleep?

He is really into fuzzy blankets.

He is also getting more short walks during the week.

Many times the walking involves a lot of sitting … but then he gets to rest and watch a little tv with me when I get home from the barn. He likes pretty much anything thing that involves doing not much of anything.

He also likes hanging out in the kitchen, hoping for scraps of turkey or another one of his own dog cookies.

He almost blends in with the flooring and cabinets.