Friday Mood: Weenie Wednesday

I am the worst blogger right now. Maybe after the end of the fiscal year I will be better at it?

Conrad is still adorable; Eli is still trotting straight lines. I have 3 4-day weeks in a row starting next week so maybe I will find the time to get a little more detailed about Eli’s progress. I am pleased with it so far, although it is a slow process.

Think Cold Thoughts

I would just like to point out that we have nothing to actually graze on here in Texas right now …

everything is burnt

The heat has done me the favor of making Eli fairly easy to ride, at least. No real work since April? No problem. It’s too hot for shenanigans. Hopefully we will be allowed to canter before it gets very cold. But for now, we are trotting in straight lines. Miraculously, Eli is just as easy to ride as where we left off. I can’t ask him for anything yet, but he just kind of shows up with a trot that is very easy to balance and work with. I don’t think he gets the whole straight-lines-only thing, but he doesn’t seem to mind it much. He gets to go outside with his friends now, so he is generally very pleasant to be around.

another perspective of burnt ground

Maybe in a few weeks, there will be grass again? The sun won’t be so oppressive? I do like to let Eli graze after we work, but right now that’s a bad idea. So we stay in the barn, in front of fans, with ice boots on his hind legs.

Cleared for …

Eli’s vet visited on Tuesday to recheck Eli’s suspensory ligament. After Eli’s little round pen half-wipeout on Saturday, I also figured the vet could check Eli’s right front, left hind, and suspicious swelling on the right hind that was higher up than the suspensory branch.

extra surprises for the vet

The right front and left hind really posed no concerns, and Eli jogged sound. The right hind swelling that was higher up — I pointed it out to the vet and said this looks like a bandage bow (which it would not be because I have not been wrapping him) and he said he saw what I meant. Luckily, it felt normal. Even better, Eli was sound upon flexion of the right hind! The ultrasound also looked good. The vet said the tissue needed some more organizing, and an increase in exercise would be a good idea.

YAY WE CAN TROT!

we still have to walk a lot, though

But not a lot, not right away. It’s hot AF and my horse and I are both out of shape, so I assured the vet we wouldn’t be doing too much anyway. Straight lines only for now — so we did a whopping four straight lines at the trot yesterday. I tried to walk about 10 minutes before picking up the trot, with lots of walking in between trotting and a little more walking at the end of the ride. Eli threw in a little celebratory hop at the end of our first straight line at the trot, which was completely adorable. The energy drained pretty quickly, as it was around noon and already in the high 90s. Not the most ideal time to ride, but that was when I could ride yesterday.

I guess the water is weird? Same water as inside the barn, bro.

Eli is also allowed back into regular turnout, which made him noticeably happier pretty much immediately. The turnouts now have shelter and water, so horses are staying out longer. I am sure Eli has dreamt of this day, as he longingly stared down the barn aisle, watching almost every other horse walk by him to the turnouts. I felt phenomenally bad for him while he couldn’t be outside as much as he would like to. I was to the point that, even if it meant extending the length of time before Eli could return to full work, I wanted him in regular turnout again.

water tastes better with a friend?

Eli’s next recheck will be in September. Maybe we’ll get to add more exercise, maybe not. But some trotting is better than no trotting!

Weenie Wednesday

Conrad had his grooming appointment yesterday and now he smells so clean and his fur is so soft.

I have had the last two days off work for a bunch of appointments, including Conrad’s grooming appointment, but we also had Eli’s recheck on Tuesday, so more to come on that topic tomorrow! I am not really looking forward to work tomorrow, but I moved everything I needed to on Monday to the new work (temporary) location, so I don’t have to worry about trying to organize any more moving, at least.

Balancing Soundness and Turnout

In a perfect world, a sound horse is outside in a paddock or pasture for hours at a stretch; 24/7, even, for some horses.

Eli, however, definitely likes the luxury of a stall with a fan, where he can eat without competition and nap undisturbed in between lunch and dinner. And not be “outside” in the dark.

But Eli also likes turnout. On a regular turnout schedule, it’s super obvious when he’s ready to come in: he doesn’t walk away from you as you approach with halter in hand.

But he is on a modified schedule, mostly stall rest, with hand walking, walking under saddle, and some turn out if he stays quiet.

IF he stays quiet. That’s a big “if”. Even when he stands “quietly” in the round pen after a good roll, he goes from idle to bronc in .02 seconds.

On Saturday, he did this … from a standstill, he suddenly tried to buck and spin at the same time. Which he is not very good at. Which resulted in him halfway wiping out upon landing, and scrambling to stay on all four feet. I was torn between face-palming and eye-rolling. Eli quietly enjoyed the rest of his outside time. We went for a 30 minute walk under saddle after that, as the only visible damage he did was a small scrape on the front of his right hind fetlock.

I cleaned him up and slathered Corona on his scrape, and rubbed some liniment on his front legs just in case. When I pulled him out of his stall the next evening, he had some localized swelling around the scrape, which I expected. He also had some localized swelling at the back of the fetlock on his right front. Good times. I decided a leisurely graze was the way to go.

Poofy fetlock

After icing 3 of his 4 legs, I put some poultice on the swollen areas.

he plays with his tongue a lot after he gets cookies and he gets a lot of cookies

Maybe there will be less swelling this evening? His vet will be out on Tuesday to recheck his suspensory so if the swelling is still hanging on I guess we can just flex and maybe ultrasound those legs, too.

Weenie Wednesday: Xolo Boutique

A few weeks ago, Xolo Boutique had some limited, flash sale coupons and while I wasn’t fast enough to get in on the biggest discount, I still got Conrad a collar (and me a bracelet to match) for an excellent price. He is definitely at the lowest end of the size range for this collar, so it’s not a snug fit, but his leash is never attached to his collar so it’s not like he’s going to slip out of it.

Anyway, IT’S SO PRETTY.

I love this color combo on Conrad. I may have ordered yet another blue harness solely to match this collar. And also possibly to use as his backyard harness because it’s a step-in harness that’s easy to get on. I’ll have to review it at some point, but so far I like it.

Back to the COLLAR, which is definitely more important right now.

Conrad doesn’t wear collars inside the house. But maybe he should?

He is very skeptical of my suggestion to wear a collar inside the house.

Trying Not to Melt

By late last week, I had given up on riding after work, considering how hot it stayed into the evening and beyond sunset. Eli got to graze a lot and spent time in the round pen, which catches some shade in the late afternoons. I may not be riding much, but I am still spending about the same amount of time at the barn, getting Eli out of his stall for a couple hours. Except on Friday — I went and did a little shopping and a lot of eating.

it might have *said* cinnamon sugar dipped marshmallow cream around the rim but it could have also been Crisco, not entirely sure

As good as truffle garlic bread with ricotta is, a criminally large milkshake did not sit well on top of it at 11pm while I was trying to fall asleep.

On Saturday, Eli and I did go for a walk regardless of the heat and humidity. We were very, very slow. Getting a marching walk out of Eli is usually easy, but not so this August, I guess. Perhaps he thinks he is permanently retired?

On Sunday, we actually caught a break in the weather here, and it even rained a little bit. Although by the time I was able to go ride Eli, that break was over and the ride soon turned into just grazing and rinsing him off.

2 fans are better than one

I have also continued with the physical therapy, and my back is muuuuuuuch better. My hope is that my last appointment will be this week.

I cleaned out my closet and drawers over the weekend, too. Not that it looks like it. But there is definitely less of everything. I *do* have to keep stuff that does *not* bring me joy because if I wore what brings me joy to the desk job I would be violating the dress code. Hanging on to so many sweaters always feels weird in August, until I get to work and start freezing at my desk, which feels about like a meat locker.

we do this a lot

And then I get off work, walk outside, and it’s too hot to breathe.

on high alert at sunset

At least by the time I get to the barn, the sun is lower in the sky. I don’t really want to wait until 9 o’clock at night to ride, but that is not off the table right now!

Weenie Wednesday: New Collar Preview

Xolo Boutique had some awesome flash coupon codes recently and I took advantage! I haven’t had a chance to get good pictures, but maybe by next Wednesday?

Posting here is taking a backseat right now — I just have too much going on, which I find somewhat annoying but that’s life. Hopefully in a few weeks things will settle down and I won’t feel so brain-fried (and I’m a little body-fried, too, to be honest).

Casual Friday Ramble

Walking with purpose is actually a pretty good workout. That’s not what Eli & I did yesterday, and probably won’t be today, either.

 

It’s more like we wandered aimlessly, but in an arena. I had been hand walking him the last few days, waiting for him to get a new set of shoes. The shoes weren’t sprung, but they were a bit loose and his toes were ridiculously long, so riding didn’t seem appropriate considering we are in recovery mode.

I do use boots on Eli, even though we are only walking. They are basically extra insurance in case anything dramatic happens and I fall off and he takes off. Not that they would help much, but he likes to bang his legs up so a little extra protection makes me feel better. And of course he wears boots or wraps in regular work because he is crooked and interferes. And he lives in his bell boots.

I have a few new shirts, and one I wore last night. It is an It’s a Haggerty’s, a brand I had not yet tried. Based on other reviews, I sized up, and I love it. The material is very comfortable. The sleeves are long enough. The shirt is long enough. And It’s a Haggerty’s sun shirts don’t just stop at solids and color blocking. The sleeves of this shirt are like a blue rose & leopard/cheetah print. I am kind of obsessed. Even better, the shirt pairs amazingly well with the Kate Botoris. I could sleep in this outfit, it’s so comfortable!

Eli also has a “new” bit, and I can’t remember if I mentioned it before? I got it shortly before he got injured, so it has mostly seen a lot of walking. But Eli does seem very, very comfortable in it. It’s a custom Myler that I picked up used. If I were to order him a new custom Myler, it would basically be this one. Except way more expensive. Yay for the resale market!

 

It’s a 5″ dee, double-jointed with a copper roller and a contoured sweet iron mouthpiece with copper inlays. It may be a tad on the thin side, but I am a firm believer in fitting a horse’s mouth based on the horse’s actual mouth. It means the finer-boned, smaller-mouthed TBs with narrow palettes might find fat bits – that people think of as soft – as totally annoying and uncomfortable. So don’t let preconceived notions about bitting fool you into thinking certain bits are “soft” while others are “harsh.” Try different bits, and whichever one your horse takes up well and doesn’t fuss in, is the right bit. I had a fat KK Ultra loose ring that Eli HATED. You’d of thought it was bike chain for how he acted. A thinner mouthpiece made all the difference. The double-jointed bits seem to work well for sensitive horses that have narrow palettes or might be offended by the nutcracker action of a single-jointed bit. Add in a contoured mouthpiece that rests in a neutral position on the horse’s mouth bars and you’re set. Bitting is easy!! Haha just kidding. I spend a ton of brain power just thinking about bits and how they might or might not work on a particular horse. It’s one of my favorite training topics.

I am so glad it’s Friday! Work has not slowed down AT ALL and I am hanging on by a thread here. I can’t wait to get out to the barn tonight and play with Eli and then enjoy a glass of champagne while sitting with Conrad in a comfortable chair.