That’s a Lot of Snow

For here, anyway, in Central Texas. I got like 6 inches of snow at my house! It snowed ALL DAY. That just … doesn’t really happen here.

I really don’t like snow at all. Snow is pretty and magical for about an hour, then it’s just cold, wet, and hazardous to tree branches. Some of which snapped loudly as though someone fired a rifle just on the other side of the fence. 

Cardinals do look really good in snow, though. I am sure the ones here were surprised AF. Conrad was also surprised.

I did not think I would ever need snow boots for my dog, but he could have used them on Sunday.

I am pretty sure I am satisfied with the amount of snow that has fallen at my house in 2021 for the next 30 years or so. 

The snow was nicer than the usual ice storm we get around this time of year, at least, so perhaps we’ve dodged that bullet? Ha, yeah right. 2021 seems to be continuing in the tradition of 2020 but on steroids so I am sure we will get an ice day before the end of February. 

I am ready for warmer weather now for sure!

The Injury of the Week Club

Eli seems to enjoy a life of leisure. Basically since Thanksgiving, I have only ridden him a handful of times.

And the majority of the handful of rides? Pretty much just walking.

Walking … in the dark. So also spooking. He has a lot of energy. He expends some if it in turnout, but …

He has also managed to bang himself up while expending that energy every few days or so. His Incrediwear stable bandages are getting a lot of use.

So in the past two weeks, he did *something* to his left hind, up high. He visibly limped at the walk and turned on three legs instead of four … ultimately I think he just strained his hamstring but it took days of strategically applied DMSO and long walks under saddle to sort that out.

So THEN, he decides after managing one ride with some trotting under saddle, his left hind just wasn’t messed up enough so he sliced it. Fortunately the slice seems to be shallow. So that earned him a bit of disinfecting and cold hosing and wrapping again.

Not two days later, he managed another ding on the left hind, this time with a little swelling and heat. More tack walking to get the swelling down, more disinfecting, more wrapping.

He gets hours of turnout pretty much every day. I expect dings. Just … not so many so close together!

Weenie Wednesday

Conrad update! He had a minor surgery a while back and was a bit restricted in his movements. He also did not enjoy wearing a tshirt inside.

But his stitches have come out and he is busy sleeping, or enjoying sunny weather, or eating, or enjoying cold weather slightly less than he enjoys sunny weather.

Maybe he needs sunglasses? Our walks have been short and we are still avoiding the park for now, mainly in an effort to avoid people but he doesn’t seem to mind the shorter, slower walks because I give him as much time as he wants to smell everything.

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.